Dec 30

 

Public Domain Image
Public Domain Image

Today, I wanted to talk to you about today, December 30. People look at this day differently. It can be an odd day. To Rudyard Kipling, Tiger Woods, Matt Lauer, and Bo Diddley it means birthday candles. To other’s it’s a memorial.

Wayne Gretzky won’t forget it, it’s the day he set a new NHL record. In 2011, owing to a change of time zone, Samoa actually skipped the day. The government declared that their citizens would go to sleep on Thursday, and when they woke, it would be Saturday instead of Friday.

A day is memorable because of the events attached to it. Somewhere a person stood up and said this is happening today. They purposed to accomplish something on this day. What will we set out to tie to today’s memory?

Will it be the day we remember doing a, b, or c, or will we, like Samoa, skip the day? Maybe not physically. Oh we’ll breath through it, existing the hours away, but what we’ll we accomplish today?

It can be as simple as making someone smile. A moment making another’s day better, is one worth remembering. Purpose today, not to change the planet, but to improve someone else’s world.

Whatever your plans today, plan to do something for someone else. I know it’s a strange time, not quite the end, and not yet the beginning. Still, it’s a day given us by God. It is worthy of greatness, not in the sense of our own ego, but in the significance of making this day memorable for another.

When you go to bed tonight, your event won’t be reported on the news, Samoa might skip talking about it, but the life you benefitted will remember it. They won’t forget that, on December 30, you made it a day they’ll never forget.

The Sea Horse: Partners

 

IMG_2419.JPG

“So you see the problem?” “You want me to be Elliot Ness.” “Yes Elisabeth I do. It’s the only way you can return home.” The young woman laughed. “For years you refused to let me go home. Now, it comes with a price.” Agent Rook smiled. “It’s been my experience, most things do.”

That conversation had taken place a month ago. For the lady getting off the elevator, it seemed more recent. “May I help you ma’am?” “Yes, Dr. Aaron Matthews please. Tell him Elisabeth Houston with the U.S. Attorney’s office to see him.” “Do you have an appointment?” “No, but tell him, we spoke on the phone, over Christmas.”

He just stood behind his desk staring at her. “How are you Aaron?” “Better now.” She closed the door and hugged him. “I missed you.” He agreed as she pulled away. “You changed your hair, and eye color, but no plastic surgery?”

“Fortunately, Oliver Coogan was an old school chauvinist. He only saw Charlie’s blonde haired little girl. So brown hair replaces blonde, and green contacts to hide my blue eyes.” Aaron rubbed his jaw, “I’m afraid the fire didn’t give me that choice.”

She touched his face. “It’s a handsome face, a little different, but you’re still in there. The eyes haven’t changed. Now for the bad news. Agent Rook, my handler, gave me a choice. Practice law in our new city and do what I want, or…”

Aaron sat down, “I only met him once, very intimidating. He and Henry grew up together, they’re cousins. What was his or?” Elisabeth sighed. “I am a special lawyer for the U.S. Attorney’s office. No title, but with power to get control of the chaos. ”

“He wants you to stay away from, and stop The Sea Horse.” “No, he wants me to partner with The Sea Horse to do what we can’t. We can offer you equipment, surveillance, and muscle.”

“The bad news is that I was given orders to stay away from any personal attachment. He feels it will be a distraction to my job. I could only explain this meeting as consulting you over the death of Reilly Coogan. I can’t even have dinner with someone without it getting reported to Agent Rook.”

“So he doesn’t know who the Sea Horse is? Or who I really am?” “Not from me, of course, I always feel that he knows more than he says. This is the deal, I’m supposed to offer “The Sea Horse” assistance in taking down the power brokers, but once they’re gone you have a choice. Either take off the mask, or get put down yourself.”

“So we can be crime fighting partners, just not date, interesting.” “It’s not impossible. Once they’re gone, and The Sea Horse is a memory, we can still have that Wedding by the water. We may be gray headed by then, but it’s our only option.”

Aaron shook his head. “It’s not our only option, we just have to wage two wars at the same time.” He wrote the Senator’s number on his prescription pad and handed it to her. “We just need to treat Agent Rook to a little of his own medicine. You need to give him a bureaucratic license to change his mind.”

It Doesn’t Have To End

Wikimedia Commons Image
Wikimedia Commons Image

Matthew 2:23
And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene
.

It doesn’t have to end you know. Oh sure, the torn paper will get thrown away, and the tree will come down, but those are just outward things. Christmas, that feeling of awe and wonder, doesn’t have to end.

I know it seems hard to hold on to in this mundane world, filled with trials. You go into survival mode just to get through the week. Mary and Joseph understood it, not long after Christ’s birth, they were fleeing to Egypt.

It’s very easy to allow the constant beat of life’s drum to drown out the wonderful things. It’s a very human thing for you and I to do. However, even, while struggling to survive, The Wonderful One’s heart was beating in Mary’s arms. We don’t have to rely only on ourselves, Emmanuel, God is us!

That renewed sense of hope, that smile, that joy at Christ’s gift to us all, hold it tightly in your chest. Christ’s heart now sets the pace of our own, no matter what we face, it can’t be silenced.

The little drummer boy is more than a Carol, it’s a battle cry. A young drummer used to go out with an army into the heat of the battle. Whether life’s chaos, or Christ’s Quiet assurance, both armies had drummer’s, we get to choose which pace we follow.

Jesus knows the problems we face, and how very real they are. He spent thirty years in obscurity, facing the mundane in Nazareth daily. The Lord also knows though, how very real the hope of the next life is. He secured it for us on Calvary through a cross and an empty tomb.

God was wrapped in flesh to die for us, they tried to throw away the wrapping then as well. The trouble was, He came back, scarred for you and I, but whole. He kept them as a witness of His love. The lights on our fake evergreen may be unplugged, but The Tree Of Light will never be extinguished.

So don’t look at today as the day after, or even starting the countdown to the next. Look at it as an extension of the joy, the awe, and the wonder of Christmas. For the real present is that He is ever with us, and we’re just a heartbeat away from seeing His face!

The Sea Horse: Christmas In Oceania

A young man stands on the shore looking out at the sea. Today he’s not in costume. Today his broken ribs can rest, but not his heart. It is several Christmas’ removed, to a happier time. He stood on the docks with his fiancĂ©, planning a future.

That was before a witness protection program separated them. It was before his new face, and her new life. How Aaron wishes he could just talk to her. Absentmindedly he answers his cell. “Hello, Dr. Aaron Matthews.” “No it’s not, but I’ll go with it. Merry Christmas.”

He can’t believe his ears. “Merry Christmas … How… Are you okay?” “Yes and no, but mostly yes. Can’t talk long, I Love You.” “I Love You, I miss you.” “Me too, but I’m working on something, maybe just maybe ….” She was gone.

In another city, a woman’s cell phone is pocketed into a brief case, as she gets into a cab. “Where too miss?” “The airport please.” “Taking a business trip? I noticed there wasn’t any luggage. Where you headed?” “They used to call it home, now it’s known as Oceania.”

At another location, a very tall man plays catch with his daughters. Usually, he’s a little taller, and sporting a metal mask and beard. Today he’s clean shaven, and his suit is at the cleaners. The Rose’s ever present cane has even been traded for a baseball bat, its Christmas.

Reilly Coogan, in his new identity, shares a meal with his new girlfriend. After that, they’ll watch the parade, and have a ‘normal’ Christmas. He could get used to this, if he tried. Even the Wonsu smiles as she reads a post card from her son.

Tomorrow, they’ll all be back to work, but not today. It’s Christmas in Oceania, and families are taking time for each other. Like others, Henry, Carla, Webb, the Judge, and Aaron will spend the day eating and watching football.

The Sea Horse and his adventures are about entertaining the child in all of us. However, if it were not for another child, none of us would have even the hope of a smile beyond this life. This Christmas, PruittWrites and all of us involved in The Sea Horse would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Being Interpreted

 

Wikimedia Commons Image
Wikimedia Commons Image

Matthew 1:23
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

“Being interpreted …”, we brush past those words because of the phrase that follows, “God with us.” Who can blame us? Those three so powerful words are enough to captivate the soul! I submit to you today, on Christmas Day, that the ones leading up to it are just as powerful.

Interpret means more than to explain the meaning of something. It also means to translate orally or into sign language the words of a person speaking a different language. We spoke a different language than He did.

Ours was a dialect of dirt, sin, dust, and ashes. His was a conversation of the Heavens, perfection, and the stars. How could we understand Him? The only way, was an interpreter.

God, wrapped in flesh, to interpret His will to us. Jesus did this by living each day, sinless, in a sinful world. He did this by ministering to a flawed people. Most of all, He accomplished it by dying for His creation.

The third meaning of interpret is to
perform a dramatic role or piece of music in a particular way that conveys one’s understanding of the creator’s ideas. He knew that we could only comprehend The Master’s love through the music that was His life.

Like a performance, it began softly, on a dark night in David’s town. We watched Him grow as He sat in the Temple, opening men’s eyes, while still a boy Himself. We saw the impact of His ministry, the miracles yes, but more than that, Christ’s message. Man could lift their head above the dirt, higher than this plain of sin and mortality.

The climax of the piece was Calvary. Did you know that the words being interpreted are also in Mark and John? In John it appears, being interpreted Master and Christ. He explained what it meant to trust in Him. In Mark, it refers to Golgotha, being interpreted, the place of the skull. He explained that death didn’t have to be final.

Most commentators believe that the stable was in a cave. That means His life began in a cave, and returned to a cave in death. Of course, three days later, He left it never to return! The point is, God, the speaker of the Heavenly, came to the most Earthbound thing on the planet to communicate with us.

At His birth, and in His life, He interpreted God to man. In His death, He interpreted Salvation to sinners, and translated our sufferings. God knew how it felt to be forsaken so that we would never be alone.

He spoke our language so that we could learn His. He cried so that we could laugh. He died so that we would be free of death, and was born so that we could be born again.

On this Christmas Day, “God with us” is Awesome. Still “being interpreted”, God walking our world so we could fly to His, is pretty incredible too!

Anticipation

Wikimedia Commons Image
Wikimedia Commons Image

Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

“I wonder what color it will be?” “Did they get the one I circled, with the special features?” Anticipation, it’s happening all across the globe this Christmas. It means to regard as probable, to expect, or predict.

It’s a word that contains so many others, faith, excitement, hope, and waiting. It’s the expectation of what we’ve been waiting for. To a child at Christmas, it might be a bicycle, to Isaiah, it was a baby.

An old man puts down his quill to day dream. He’s just, under God’s anointing, written his seventh chapter. In Isaiah’s mind, he travels to his anticipated day. He imagines meeting Christ and hoping for the real event.

David, and those before, Abraham, Moses, and Jacob longed to see Him. They anticipated, they believed, they expected. “He will be born… He will accomplish… He will fulfill!” They faced trials, battles, and all out war, but the anticipation kept them going.

We get to read about Him, Christ’s birth, His Nativity. What prophets and kings would pay to know, are passages we’ve committed to memory. In the midst of the turmoil of your season, don’t allow it to steal your anticipation. The expectancy of hope that is Christmas is more than wrapped gifts under a tree.

You may ask, what is there to anticipate for us, this side of Bethlehem? We’ve seen the Angels, read about the wise men, and watched the flight to Egypt. What is left to anticipate? The fact that, every morning not just on Christmas morning, it is real again to us. The heartbeat that filled the stable, now beats within a Christian’s heart!

Christ is born, Hallelujah, Christ is born in us! It’s the anticipation that He still is patient, still is forgiving, and still is kind. He cradles us the way Mary cradled Him. We get to expect His mercy, though not take it for granted. Oh better still, we get to expect to see Him!

It may sound old fashioned, and out of date, but it is still true. Many doubted Isaiah’s prophecy, but He was still wrapped in swaddling clothes. They mocked Christ when He said He would give His life and rise again, until He did. As surely as the manger was filled, and the tomb was emptied, The Lord Jesus is coming.

This Christmas Eve, as you anticipate tomorrow’s gifts, and the new year beyond, take some time. Anticipate what it will be like to bow at His feet, not at a manger, but a throne. Whether as a cooing child, or a loving King, all sorrows end at The Master’s feet. An until that day, we can kneel in prayer, anticipating, expecting, and finding Him there.