Be Ready for the Infant King

Who will come to the stable
On Christmas Day?
And what will they take away?

Wise men, steadfast and earnest, came,
Instead of palace music,
They heard the donkey brae.
A lowly sound and sight,
Yet their wonder un-allayed.

Many come rejoicing,
To behold the Newborn King,
Bowing low,
While angels sing.

Christ’s comes for all
But not all come.
Some come, behold, then fall away,
Being rootless, they merrily go their way.

Father God prepared a voice
To announce His Only Word,
A messenger, born before, to go before.
Another child, spared Ramah’s plight
To live and pierce Sin’s long night
John, O, John, still cries, “Repent!”

Prepare if you would follow.
At Jerusalem’s Gate,
Many cried, “Messiah,”
Who would soon cry, “Crucify.”

Whose will will you do,
When the music fades in life?
Pride prides itself on ‘my way,’
Confounds with will and strife.

Without a ready, willing heart,
Nothing changes Christmas Day.
Corrupt hearts go on corrupting,
All the while the kingly Infant cries,
As throughout His life,
“I am the Way.”

Whose heart will live in yours
As angelic songs fade away.
Will you simply leave the stable
To follow your own way?

Come, O come, rejoicing!
Praying for a change.
Receive the Babe within your Heart.
The humble He teaches His Way.

©2011 Joann Nelander

Radiant Light

Darkness, fleeing at the approach of Promise,
Star bright and resplendent,
The Sun, illuminating the Virgin’s womb,
Making of it a palace
Fit for a king, a King of Kings.

Light bright angel,
Carrying her “Fiat” heavenward,
Enfolding humility, modesty and obedience,
In the gold of innocence and virtue.

Most High overshadowing,
Virgin most pure and lowly,
Conceiving by privilege,
Godhead and Son of Man.

© 2012 Joann Nelander

Going Up to Jerusalem

O God, let me climb
the Lord’s mountain,
That I may be changed,
Charged, and sent.

Going up to Jerusalem,
May sinful Man
Grab on to the tassels
Of my garment,
And run with me,
Drawn heavenward
By Your Cross.

On this mountain,
This all hallowed mountain,
From which the bones of Adam,
And the faith of Abraham, cry out,
Rescue,save, deliver,
My Redeemer comes.

©2011 Joann Nelander

Be Ready for the Infant King

Who will come to the stable
On Christmas Day?
And what will they take away?

Wise men, steadfast and earnest, came,
Instead of palace music,
They heard the donkey brae.
A lowly sound and sight,
Yet their wonder un-allayed.

Many come rejoicing,
To behold the Newborn King,
Bowing low,
While angels sing.

Christ’s comes for all
But not all come.
Some come, behold, then fall away,
Being rootless, they merrily go their way.

Father God prepared a voice
To announce His Only Word,
A messenger, born before, to go before.
Another child, spared Ramah’s plight
To live and pierce Sin’s long night
John, O, John, still cries, “Repent!”

Prepare if you would follow.
At Jerusalem’s Gate,
Many cried, “Messiah,”
Who would soon cry, “Crucify.”

Whose will will you do,
When the music fades in life?
Pride prides itself on ‘my way,’
Confounds with will and strife.

Without a ready, willing heart,
Nothing changes Christmas Day.
Corrupt hearts go on corrupting,
All the while the kingly Infant cries,
As throughout His life,
“I am the Way.”

Whose heart will live in yours
As angelic songs fade away.
Will you simply leave the stable
To follow your own way?

Come, O come, rejoicing!
Praying for a change.
Receive the Babe within your Heart.
The humble He teaches His Way.

©2011 Joann Nelander

Video: Robert Spencer on Sun TV on the Jerusalem synagogue jihad mass murder attack

Three Americans among dead in Palestinian attack on Jerusalem synagogue & a Prayer

via Three Americans among dead in Palestinian attack on Jerusalem synagogue | Fox News.

"Three Americans were among four worshipers killed in a Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday by two Palestinians wielding meat cleavers and a gun and shouting "Allahu Akbar" in a brutal attack that prompted a vow from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to "respond harshly."

The American citizens — identified by the State Department as Mosheh Twersky, Aryeh Kupinsky and Cary William Levine — were killed along with a Briton when the assailants, identified as cousins, stormed the building and began attacking people. Police said those killed were all immigrants to Israel and held dual citizenship.

Eight others were injured — one critically — before the attackers were killed in a shootout with police. The Times of Israel cited witnesses who said the attackers stormed the synagogue, in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighborhood in the western part of Jerusalem, shouting "Allahu Akbar," Arabic for "God is Great," and creating a horrific scene of bloody carnage.

"I tried to escape. The man with the knife approached me. There was a chair and table between us … my prayer shawl got caught. I left it there and escaped," a man who identified himself as Yossi, who was praying at the synagogue at the time of the attack, told Israeli Channel 2 TV. He declined to give his last name.

The attack was the deadliest in Israel’s capital since 2008, when a Palestinian gunman shot eight people in a religious seminary school.

Netanyahu vowed that Israel will "respond harshly" to the attack, which he denounced as a "cruel murder of Jews who came to pray and were killed by despicable murderers." U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he spoke to Netanyahu after the assault and denounced it as an "act of pure terror and senseless brutality and violence."

via Three Americans among dead in Palestinian attack on Jerusalem synagogue | Fox News.

Let us pray:

Jesus the Lord of Armies

by John Henry Cardinal Newman

Let us pray for the whole Church Militant here upon earth.

O Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the root of David, who fightest the good fight, and hast called on all men to join Thee, give Thy courage and strength to all Thy soldiers over the whole earth, who are fighting under the standard of Thy Cross. Give grace to every one in his own place to fight Thy battle well. Be with Thy missionaries in pagan lands, put right words into their mouths, prosper their labours, and sustain them under their sufferings with Thy consolations, and carry them on, even through torment and blood (if it be necessary), to their reward in heaven. Give the grace of wisdom to those in high station, that they may neither yield to fear, nor be seduced by flattery. Make them prudent as serpents, and simple as doves. Give Thy blessing to all preachers and teachers, that they may speak Thy words and persuade their hearers to love Thee. Be with all faithful servants of Thine, whether in low {187} station or in high, who mix in the world; instruct them how to speak and how to act every hour of the day, so as to preserve their own souls from evil and to do good to their companions and associates. Teach us, one and all, to live in thy presence and to see Thee, our Great Leader and Thy Cross—and thus to fight valiantly and to overcome, that at the last we may sit down with Thee in Thy Throne, as Thou also hast overcome and art set down with Thy Father in His Throne. {188}

Going Up to Jerusalem

O God, let me climb
the Lord’s mountain,
That I may be changed,
Charged, and sent.

Going up to Jerusalem,
May sinful Man
Grab on to the tassels
Of my garment,
And run with me,
Drawn heavenward
By Your Cross.

On this mountain,
This all hallowed mountain,
From which the bones of Adam,
And the faith of Abraham, cry out,
Rescue,save, deliver,
My Redeemer comes.

©2011 Joann Nelander

Going Up to Jerusalem

O God, let me climb
the Lord’s mountain,
That I may be changed,
Charged, and sent.

Going up to Jerusalem,
May sinful Man
Grab on to the tassels
Of my garment,
And run with me,
Drawn heavenward
By Your Cross.

On this mountain,
This all hallowed mountain,
From which the bones of Adam,
And the faith of Abraham, cry out,
Rescue,save, deliver,
My Redeemer comes.

©2011 Joann Nelander

Everything For You

It is hard to be alone, Lord.
I know You are by my side.
In my heart of hearts
I turn to You.
Be Lord of this day.
Here is my hand in Yours;
Lead me!

All in Your Name,
Everything for You,
Everyone in my life,
I give to you
In their present need.
Many do not know
To call to You.
Trifles control them,
And they flit away
Their Eternity with You.

It may seem preposterous
That I should dare seek
For the whole world,
Forgiveness and conversion.
I am only one poor,
And wretched sinner,
Yet, Lord, see the army
That prays with me.
See the Blood and Water of Your Son
Pleading for the Redeemed.

By Joann Nelander

Silence is deafening as attacks on Christians continue to grow | Fox News

"If we Sunday people are indeed concerned about the survival of our ancient communities in the Middle East, we may want to heed the advice of the Saturday people:

Pray as if everything depends on God. And act as if everything depends on you."

Lela Gilbert is author of \"Saturday People, Sunday People: Israel through the Eyes of a Christian Sojourner\" and co-author, with Nina Shea and Paul Marshall, of \"Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians.\" She is an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Instituteand lives in Jerusalem. For more, visit her website: http://www.lelagilbert.com.

via Silence is deafening as attacks on Christians continue to grow | Fox News.

The Easter Praise of Christ

H/T Divineoffice.org

From an Easter homily by Melito of Sardis, bishop
The Easter praise of Christ

We should understand, beloved, that the paschal mystery is at once old and new, transitory and eternal, corruptible and incorruptible, mortal and immortal. In terms of the Law it is old, in terms of the Word it is new. In its figure it is passing, in its grace it is eternal. It is corruptible in the sacrifice of the lamb, incorruptible in the eternal life of the Lord. It is mortal in his burial in the earth, immortal in his resurrection from the dead.

The Law indeed is old, but the Word is new. The type is transitory, but grace is eternal. The lamb was corruptible, but the Lord is incorruptible. He was slain as a lamb; he rose again as God. He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, yet he was not a sheep. He was silent as a lamb, yet he was not a lamb. The type has passed away; the reality has come. The lamb gives place to God, the sheep gives place to a man, and the man is Christ, who fills the whole of creation. The sacrifice of the lamb, the celebration of the Passover, and the prescriptions of the Law have been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Under the old Law, and still more under the new dispensation, everything pointed toward him.

Both the Law and the Word came forth from Zion and Jerusalem, but now the Law has given place to the Word, the old to the new. The commandment has become grace, the type a reality. The lamb has become a Son, the sheep a man, and man, God.

The Lord, though he was God, became man. He suffered for the sake of those who suffer, he was bound for those in bonds, condemned for the guilty, buried for those who lie in the grave; but he rose from the dead, and cried aloud: Who will contend with me? Let him confront me. I have freed the condemned, brought the dead back to life, raised men from their graves. Who has anything to say against me? I, he said, am the Christ; I have destroyed death, triumphed over the enemy, trampled hell underfoot, bound the strong one, and taken men up to the heights of heaven: I am the Christ.

Come, then, all you nations of men, receive forgiveness for the sins that defile you. I am your forgiveness. I am the Passover that brings salvation. I am the lamb who was immolated for you. I am your ransom, your life, your resurrection, your light, I am your salvation and your king. I will bring you to the heights of heaven. With my own right hand I will raise you up, and I will show you the eternal Father.

Rabbi’s Benediction Emphasizes Jerusalem in DNC Prayer

View video here

Yair Rosenberg|reports:

When I interviewed Rabbi David Wolpe in advance of his prayer at the DNC, he told me that “If there’s something that I very much object to, I’ll point it out, but I try mainly not to be a political rabbi, but a rabbi.” He made such an objection known last night.

On Wednesday, reference to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was removed from the DNC platform, before being forced back in by party leadership over the protests of many delegates. Wolpe had accepted his speaking slot last Thursday, with no notion that he would capping a day of such turmoil and consternation on the convention floor and within the American Jewish community. Tasked with delivering the day’s closing benediction, Wolpe chose to take a stand.

“You have taught us that we must count on one another; that our country is strong through community, and that the children of Israel on the way to that sanctified and cherished land, and ultimately to that golden and capital city of Jerusalem—that those children of Israel did not walk through the wilderness alone,” he stated, placing special emphasis on the word the DNC had almost omitted.

Read the full benediction as delivered below:

Ribono shel Olam, dear God.

We are grateful that our nation is founded on the highest principles of freedom and resourcefulness and creativity and ever-renewed strength. And we understand that those worthy ideals stand alongside the commitment to compassion, to goodness, our sacred covenant to care for those who are bereaved and bereft, who are frightened, who are hungry, who are bewildered and lost, who seek shelter from the cold.

As your prophet Isaiah taught us: shiftu yatom, v’rivu almanah—defend the orphan and fight on behalf of the widow.

We know that our lamp is lifted not only to illuminate our way but to serve as a beacon to others—that here, this land, is a place where the dreams of a weary world flourish and endure.

Ours is a holy charge: a single moment, a touch, a glance, a word, can change a life; our children look to us with aspirational eyes, with the hope that their world will be kinder, sweeter, smarter, than the world we have known.

Each of these changes touches all of us: for you have taught us that we must count on one another; that our country is strong through community, and that the children of Israel on the way to that sanctified and cherished land, and ultimately to that golden and capital city of Jerusalem, that those children of Israel did not walk through the wilderness alone.

Rachmana, merciful God, may we be guided by your wisdom, and so become more understanding and tolerant of others. May our souls be enlarged by empathy and uplifted by leaders and thinkers and teachers who believe in strength of soul and wild, wonderful visions; so together, with right and left worshiping the same God, our nation, this nation, this strong, blessed nation, filled with spirit and called to noble cause, will become more passionate, more purposeful, more burnished and bright through the warmth of your embrace and the extraordinary power, dear God, of your love.

Amen.

Restoration of “God” and Jerusalem” to Dem Platform Booed at Convention-Video

On My Father’s Side – Video

Radiant Light

 

Darkness, fleeing at the approach of Promise,
Star bright and resplendent,
The Sun, illuminating the Virgin’s womb,
Making of it a palace
Fit for a king, a King of Kings.

Light bright angel,
Carrying her “Fiat” heavenward,
Enfolding humility, modesty and obedience,
In the gold of innocence and virtue.

Most High overshadowing,
Virgin most pure and lowly,
Conceiving by privilege,
Godhead and Son of Man.

© 2012 Joann Nelander

Be Ready for the Infant King

The Holy Night by Carlo Maratta

Who will come to the stable
On Christmas Day?
And what will they take away?

Wise men, steadfast and earnest, came,
Instead of palace music,
They heard the donkey brae.
A lowly sound and sight,
Yet their wonder unallayed.

Many come rejoicing,
To behold the Newborn King,
Bowing low,
While angels sing.

Christ comes for all
But not all come.
Some come, behold, then fall away,
Being rootless, they merrily go their way.

Father God prepared a voice
To announce His Only Word,
A messenger, born before, to go before.
Another child, spared Ramah’s plight
To live and pierce Sin’s long night
John, O, John, still cries, “Repent!”

Prepare if you would follow.
At Jerusalem’s Gate,
Many cried, “Messiah,”
Who would soon cry, “Crucify.”

Whose will will you do,
When the music fades in life?
Pride prides itself on ‘my way,’
Confounds with will and strife.

Without a ready, willing heart,
Nothing changes Christmas Day.
Corrupt hearts go on corrupting,
All the while the kingly Infant cries,
As throughout His life,
“I am the Way.”

Whose heart will live in yours
As angelic songs fade away.
Will you simply leave the stable
To follow your own way?

Come, O come, rejoicing!
Praying for a change.
Receive the Babe within your Heart.
Beg Him forever stay.

©2010 Joann Nelander

Going Up to Jerusalem

O God, let me climb
The Lord’s mountain,
That I may be changed,
Charged, and sent.

Going up to Jerusalem,
May sinful Man
Grab on to the tassels 
Of my garment,
And run with me,
Drawn heavenward
By Your Cross.

On this mountain,
This all hallowed mountain,
From which the bones of Adam,
And the faith of Abraham, cry out,
Rescue,save, deliver,
My Bridegroom comes.

©2011 Joann Nelander

Saint Bonaventure – Mystical Wisdom


From the Journey of the Mind to God by Saint Bonaventure

Mystical wisdom is revealed by the Holy Spirit

Christ is both the way and the door. Christ is the staircase and the vehicle, like the throne of mercy over the Ark of the Covenant, and the mystery hidden from the ages. A man should turn his full attention to this throne of mercy, and should gaze at him hanging on the cross, full of faith, hope and charity, devoted, full of wonder and joy, marked by gratitude, and open to praise and jubilation. Then such a man will make with Christ a pasch, that is, a passing-over. Through the branches of the cross he will pass over the Red Sea, leaving Egypt and entering the desert. There he will taste the hidden manna, and rest with Christ in the sepulcher, as if he were dead to things outside. He will experience, as much as is possible for one who is still living, what was promised to the thief who hung beside Christ: Today you will be with me in paradise.

For this passover to be perfect, we must suspend all the operations of the mind and we must transform the peak of our affections, directing them to God alone. This is a sacred mystical experience. It cannot be comprehended by anyone unless he surrenders himself to it; nor can he surrender himself to it unless he longs for it; nor can he long for it unless the Holy Spirit, whom Christ sent into the world, should come and inflame his innermost soul. Hence the Apostle says that this mystical wisdom is revealed by the Holy Spirit.

If you ask how such things can occur, seek the answer in God’s grace, not in doctrine; in the longing of the will, not in the understanding; in the sighs of prayer, not in research; seek the bridegroom not the teacher; God and not man; darkness not daylight; and look not to the light but rather to the raging fire that carries the soul to God with intense fervor and glowing love. The fire is God, and the furnace is in Jerusalem, fired by Christ in the ardor of his loving passion. Only he understood this who said: My soul chose hanging and my bones death. Anyone who cherishes this kind of death can see God, for it is certainly true that: No man can look upon me and live.

Let us die, then, and enter into the darkness, silencing our anxieties, our passions and all the fantasies of our imagination. Let us pass over with the crucified Christ from this world to the Father, so that, when the Father has shown himself to us, we can say with Philip: It is enough. We may hear with Paul: My grace is sufficient for you; and we can rejoice with David, saying: My flesh and my heart fail me, but God is the strength of my heart and my heritage for ever. Blessed be the Lord for ever, and let all the people say: Amen. Amen!

Wonderous Story of God & Jehoshaphat

From 2 Chronicles 20:1-9, 13-24

The Moabites, the Ammonites, and with them some Meunites came to fight against Jehoshaphat. The message was brought to Jehoshaphat: “A great multitude is coming against you from across the sea, from Edom; they are already in Hazazon-tamar” (which is En-gedi). Jehoshaphat was frightened, and he hastened to consult the Lord. He proclaimed a fast for all Judah. Then Judah gathered to seek help from the Lord; from every one of the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.

Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem in the house of the Lord before the new court, and he said: “Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God in heaven, and do you not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations? In your hand is power and might, and no one can withstand you. Was it not you, our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and gave it forever to the descendants of Abraham, your friend? They have dwelt in it and they built in it a sanctuary to your honor, saying, ‘When evil comes upon us, the sword of judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before you, for your name is in this house, and we will cry out to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save!’

All Judah was standing before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their young sons. And the spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the clan of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly, and he said: “Listen, all of Judah, inhabitants of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat! The Lord says to you: ‘Do not fear or lose heart at the sight of this vast multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. Go down against them tomorrow. You will see them coming up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will come upon them at the end of the wadi which opens on the wilderness of Jeruel. You will not have to fight in this encounter. Take your places, stand firm, and see how the Lord will be with you to deliver you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not fear or lose heart. Tomorrow go out to meet them, and the Lord will be with you.’”

Then Jehoshaphat knelt down with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord in worship. Levites from among the Kohathites and Korahites rose to sing the praises of the Lord, the God of Israel, in a resounding chorus.

In the early morning they hastened out to the wilderness of Tekoa. As they were going out, Jehoshaphat halted and said: “Listen to me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Trust in the Lord, your God, and you will be found firm. Trust in his prophets and you will succeed.” After consulting with the people, he appointed some to sing to the Lord and some to praise the holy Appearance as it went forth at the head of the army. They sang: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his mercy endures forever.”

At the moment they began their jubilant hymn, the Lord laid an ambush against the Ammonites, Moabites, and those of Mount Seir who were coming against Judah, so that they were vanquished. For the Ammonites and Moabites set upon the inhabitants of Mount Seir and completely exterminated them. And when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they began to destroy each other. When Judah came to the watchtower of the desert and looked toward the throng, they saw only corpses fallen on the ground, with no survivors.

Israel – Survival Against All Odds

Israel is surviving against all odds, however the odds are increasing.  The threats go beyond enemies without to include homegrown dilemmas.

H/T Glenn Reynolds : Israel: Seven Existential Threats

Michael B. Oren, is a professor at the School of Foreign service at Georgetown University and a distingushed fellow at the Shalem Center, writes of Israel’s existential threats, at least seven:

The threats according to Oren are: the lose of Jerusalem, the Arab demographic threat, de-legitimization, terrorism,    the nuclear-armed Iran,     the hemorrhaging of sovereignty,    and corruption.

Oren, however, also notes:

Israel in 2009 has treaties with Jordan and Egypt, excellent relations with Eastern Europe, China, and India, and a historic alliance with the United States. By virtually all criteria, Israel in 2009 is in an inestimably better position than at any other time in its 61 years of independence.

Though the severity of the threats jeopardizing Israel’s existence must never be underestimated, neither should Israel’s resilience and national will. That persistence reflects, at least in part, the success of the Jewish people to surmount similar dangers for well over 3,000 years. Together with Diaspora Jewry and millions of Israel supporters abroad, Israel can not only survive these perils but, as in the past, it can thrive.