Christmas is coming closer. It is such an exciting time of the year. I see the most beautiful decorations, many lights, also angels. We also see the displays of a crèche with the baby in it. The world is again waiting, waiting to celebrate the birth of Christ. The Christ that came into the world to save us from our sins. God loved us so much that He sent us His only begotten Son to set us free. This is the greatest gift we can ever embrace. Continue reading “Christmas 2016 by Brunhilde Luken”→
Mother’s day is a day especially set aside to celebrate our mothers.
(John 19:25-27) “After Jesus was crucified, and He was still on the cross, standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”
Mary became also our Mother.
“Just for you, Mother”
This painting I created as a gift in memory of my earthly mother. Even though she is no longer with us, I still keep her close to my heart. She was very special. When I remember my mother I feel happy, but I also get filled with sadness. She was the center of our family. She also taught us to pray. She knew there would be times in our lives when we truly needed prayer. She also knew she would not always be there to sooth our pain. She knew we needed the Lord. She left us when she was only 59 years old, she left to be with the Lord. About fifteen years ago I needed to know if my mother was in heaven. I pleaded with the Lord to please let me know, please let me see where she is. That night, in a dream, I was shown a big room with many pillars and it was very brightly lit. In front of the room on a pedestal, there was my mother, very happy, having a conversation with somebody. As I looked to see who this was, a veil went over the other person. Immediately I woke up. As I woke up I felt wonderfully at peace. She was so happy. My first thought was she must have been with Mary, the mother of us all. She had great love for her, the mother of our Lord. Ever since I had this wonderful dream, I remember her being so happy, it is no longer painful. I know she is happy.
Is it just me, or do you also think Christmas was just here? It is my most beautiful time of the year. Decorating, baking, purchasing some gifts, and most of all preparing my heart anew for the birth of baby Jesus. This precious gift God sent to us over 2000 years ago. Can this be true, a gift so great to come to us to save us?
Perhaps we can imagine, at least some of us, how it felt when our first baby was born and the nurse or doctor put this precious little bundle into our arms, what a gift this was.
The gift to us was much bigger. He sent baby Jesus to us so we could have eternal life. So we too can spend eternity in heaven with all the saints and all those that looked towards heaven that left us already, most of all with our Lord. Many saints or apostles talked about visions of heaven. Do we really know? It certainly can spur our imagination. It will be so beautiful we don’t have words to describe this beauty. It will be truly a gift. Only then can we understand the gift our Lord sent to us.
Years ago I wrote a poem that was on my lips as I woke up one morning. It sure felt real, a peek of heaven. How real was it? I don’t think God truly wants us to know. Jesus did say: “I will go and prepare a place for you, so that where I am you will be also.” It will be so beautiful that it is truly worth all our efforts and sacrifices to try to get to heaven and spend eternity there. Our intellect cannot grasp that beauty. He loved us so much. There is no greater love than His.
Let us truly hold baby Jesus close. He will help us to have Christ born within each one of us. What a celebration this will be.
I will share a poem with you that I wrote long ago; it’s one of my favorites:
This is Christmas
I walked through this beautiful town.
The sun was shining brightly. It was so peaceful.
The leaves were glistening from the morning dew.
I made a comment, how beautiful,
To my guardian angel who was guiding me through town.
He looked at me and said: “You have to see this on Christmas.”
Immediately everywhere the lights started flickering.
The whole town was lit up.
A tremendous peace came over me.
I looked at Him and said: “Oh yes, this is Christmas.”
(John 14:27): “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
To each one of you, have a wonderful Christmas celebration and a renewed birth of Christ within you.
Together let us follow the Star; Merry Christmas to all of you.
Yes, let us shout for Joy, Christ is risen, He is risen indeed. He has also sent to us, as He had promised, “The Holy Spirit.”
His disciples could barely retain this wonderful God given joy.
The tomb was empty.
Mary Magdalene saw it first and was smitten with tears, as she cried out, “Where have they laid my Lord?”
Then Jesus called her by name, “Mary.” She immediately recognized Him and answered “Raboni (Teacher).” What a joy she must have felt. Nobody could say her name with so much love expressed, by simply calling her name.
I can imagine her joy as she ran and told the other disciples and also Mary, His mother.
Their faith was a bit shaken when He died so brutally beaten on the cross. Deep in their hearts they had kept the words hidden when Jesus said, “This Temple will be destroyed and in three days I will rebuild it.” Mary knew deep in her heart that Jesus was special. He was the Son of God, born without sin, yet fully human and fully God. He had promised. “In three days I will rise again.”
His presence felt special, yet it was all so out of the ordinary that the disciples became frightened. They feared for their own lives.
Jesus knew all of this. This is why he promised them the Holy Spirit. He knew their weaknesses. He knew they needed help.
Many disciples gathered in one room after it was confirmed by His appearance that He has risen as He had promised. As they were deciding what is next, then, all of a sudden Jesus stood among them. What a joy and love there was among all off them. Jesus asked for food to show He was truly alive. As all were huddled together, maybe even danced around shouting for joy, He vanished from their sight. Now they all knew it was all true. All the words Jesus spoke were alive. Thomas was not with them at the time. When he arrived they excitingly told him of the appearance of Jesus but he did not believe. He said, “Unless I see Jesus’ wounds and touch them I will not believe.” Again Jesus appeared to those gathered with Thomas. Thomas touched His wounds, “and now he believed”.
Jesus was seen by many during a time after He had died.
The Holy Spirit Promised, Acts 1:4-9:
“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem but to wait for the Promise of the Father,” which, He said, “You have heard from Me; For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him saying “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”And He said to them,” It is not for you to know: times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samara, and to the end of the earth.”
The Upper Room Prayer Meeting, Acts 1:12-15:
“Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying; Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Asphacus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. These all continued with one acord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”
Coming of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:1-8:
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another,” Look, are not al these who speak Galileans?”
We also live in a troubled world. There are times when I don’t like to listen to the news. Too much darkness covers the earth today. There is also much light. Christ never promised it would be easy to follow Him. Our responsibility is to live according to His word. We have to stand firm in the teachings of the scripture. It does not say anywhere we will always be happy, but we can feel the peace and joy that comes from the Lord. Pray without ceasing.
“Come Holy, Spirit come”
2 Corinthians 4:18: “We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but on what is unseen is eternal.”
“In Solitude I will find you.”
When I created this painting, as usually when I paint, I may have a thought but soon I loose my self in the painting, as I feel truly touched by the Lord. I really don’t feel the time pass, but I know when it is finished. I can say while I paint I feel one with the Lord. When I looked at the finished painting I felt so moved by the Holy Spirit. I looked again and I saw the Christ with outstretched arms. I knew then my work of art was finished.
In the words of Michelangelo Buonarroti:
“True art is made noble and religious by the mind producing it …. the endeavor to create something perfect, for God is perfection, and whoever strives after perfection is striving for something divine.”
Also, as Paul Klee expressed so eloquently, “Art does not reproduce the visible, rather, it makes visible.”
May all of you feel especially touched by the Holy Spirit as we celebrate Pentecost.