On the third day of Christmas,
my True Love gave to me,
Three French Hens...
Faith, Hope and Love
These gifts my True Love gave to me. And though they belong to me, sit beneath my tree, if I do not open them, unwrap them, use them, they are just pretty idle packages.
God gave these gifts to me for me to use, not to wonder about, not to look at and admire, or to talk about once a week. But to use, to exercise like a muscle. They are mine to build and strengthen.
Romans 4:18-Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
And when I have unwrapped it, applied it, one time witnessed it in action, does it then rest on the shelf? When I am faced with a tough spot do I forget that with God all things are possible? Do I worry that I do not have enough Love, enough Faith, enough Hope? Do I disregard the workings of the Holy Spirit to increase in me those gifts given?
When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.
"What are you arguing with them about?" he asked.
A man in the crowd answered, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not."
"O unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me."
So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like this?"
"From childhood," he answered. "It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."
" 'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."
Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
Dear Reader, did you get a present this year that you really appreciated and were thankful for, say a Cuisinart food processor? Are you going to leave it in its wrapping, in the box under the tree? Going about your life in the old way, chopping, slicing, shredding with the old tools, the Law?
That would be what it would be like for me to neglect the gifts God has given me.
But should I go about praying and desiring more gifts, gifts of phenomenon, because these three seem so ordinary, mundane, simple? Perhaps, but I should not because these are mundane, not while ignoring, just talking about the gifts already given.
1 Corinthians 13
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
My job, to abide. Attending first to the greatest gift.
So Dear Reader, I am going out to exercise my love for my other Love, and prune a few trees. He was anxious to get to these earlier this season, a little to early. I have made him wait until our hard freeze so that the sap is driven down into the trees. Making him wait and tending to insist that I do them myself definitely makes it a job that I need to get to right away while the conditions are good for it.
I heard a horrible thing spoken in my home, I heard two people say, "Yay, green! We can see green again."
Arggh, darn PNWeners, green lovers. Well that means that there is no snow on the trees and the ground under them is no longer icy. So out I go, with my new sixteen foot aluminum orchard ladder.
Have a great third day of Christmas and I do hope you had a lovely feast of St. Stephen yesterday, did you sing the song, Good King Wenchelas? Did you think about the words?
Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuel
"Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know'st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes' fountain."
"Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither.
"Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather
"Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer."
"Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly.
"In his master's steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing
Kathy, I cannot give you good news about coyotes so instead I chose one of your favorite musicians.