Day 26: #receive #領受 Thursday December 24, Christmas Eve
‘It doesn’t matter that our lives, or our families or world are not perfect. What matters is that we make a space, no matter how small, for God in our hearts. When we do that, God will do the rest, and Christ will once more be born in the Bethlehem of our lives and the mangers of our hearts’.
Today, the photo and the Advent Word meditation above match perfectly! This was taken last night as we went with our students from the St. John’s University Student Fellowship around the dormitories and university campus sharing the good news of Christmas.
Our last stop was at Ms. Lu’s house, just next to the university ~ here she is lighting the Advent wreath. Ms. Lu is very much loved by us all. She worked for many years here on the cleaning team of the university staff, with special responsibility for Advent Church, giving up much of her free time to help with church events, and always on hand for whatever might need doing. She was baptized at Advent Church, and continues to be the only Christian in her family ~ and is always giving thanks to God for his goodness. There are some spare rooms in her home which she rents out to 3 of our students in the SJU Student Fellowship, who report how well-cared they all are, with a constant supply of breakfasts and goodies and always many words of encouragement. A year or two ago her husband fell ill, and she took early retirement from her job to care for him, which she’s still doing. They’ve just returned home after her husband spent 7 weeks in hospital. Last night she welcomed us all to her home, to light the Advent wreath, sing some carols, pray for her and her husband ~ and finally she gave us all tea eggs which she’d prepared herself, plus cans of soda and cookies to take home.
Truly the salt of the earth!
The remaining photos of the evening are here:
Wishing you all deep peace and great joy this Christmas Time!
Day 25: #reflect #反映 Wednesday December 23
‘Mary has much to teach us. Mary’s experience gives us the message that all is sacred, all creation is redeemed, all is a reflection of the glory of God’.
Advent Church reflected in the windows of the new Advent Church Center this morning!
Day 24: #pray #祈禱 Tuesday December 23
‘Anyone who prays struggles with self-censorship. One of the best pieces of spiritual advice I ever received was to pray for anything that I desired, even if that desire seemed sinful – to begin integrating prayer with life as we actually experience it, rather than as we might wish it to be’.
Busy busy busy today at SJU Chaplaincy 聖約翰科技大學校牧室!
900 Christmas cookies in 6 different flavours, 2 each for 360 SJU faculty & staff, 150 for Advent Church, all wrapped in ribbon with these Christmas greetings: ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests’. (Luke 2:14) ~ #pray4us #pray4all
Merry Christmas everyone!
Day 23: #experience #體會 Monday December 21
‘Second-hand information about God is not enough. We need to be able to touch and know and undeniably experience Jesus at work in our world and in our lives to be able to believe God, to be able to believe in God’.
Until you experience it for yourself, how could you know that the stump of a banana tree could be just sooooooo delicious?!
Our church members, the Tan family ponies!
Day 22: #look #注視 Sunday December 20, Fourth Sunday of Advent
‘Every moment is teeming with God’s presence. We can know the real presence of Jesus by being really present to life – to live our lives with a kind of attentiveness like when someone grabs your arm and then, pointing at something says, “Look!” And you’re all eyes to take it all in. That’s real living: being really present to Jesus’ real presence, now’.
Dawn is breaking over Sanzhi 三芝 ~ look!
Day 21: #hope #希望 Saturday December 19
‘Life has more meaning when we have hope. Life has more meaning when we understand that we are the builders of something much larger than our own lives and concerns, if we know our place on the long trajectory into God’s future’.
Advent Church Thanksgiving Service today celebrating the coming 90th birthdays of some of our beloved church members, and supported by Tan Mama & Tan Baba (already 94 & 97!) ~ CONGRATULATIONS to them all!
‘The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love’. (Ps. 147:11)
Day 20: #prepare #預備 Friday December 18
‘We have just days to get ready for Christmas and there is a lot to do. But the most important thing is that only you can say ‘yes’ to God. Only you can build that temple in your heart where the one whom the heavens cannot contain may dwell’.
Thanks be to God ~ the occupancy permit for our new Advent Church Centre has finally been granted! The next step is all the interior fittings. Lots and lots to prepare ~ pray 4 us!
Day 19: #desire #渴望 Thursday December 17
‘The kingdom of God is a peaceable kingdom, a transformed society in which each member is valued and treated with dignity. The weak and the strong live together in harmony, each caring for the other. There is no true peace without justice. We are not only to desire this peace, but to work for it’.
Sometimes even just a chicken nugget can satisfy our deepest desire!
Day 18: #invite #邀請 Wednesday December 16
‘As we approach the Christmas season, think of someone in your own life who is sad, or lonely, or hurting, and pledge to say or do something to help bring God’s healing love into their lives. Invite them for a coffee, or a meal. Pay them a visit. Phone them. Show them that they are not alone’.
Yes, you can even invite them for chicken nuggets! St. John’s University Christmas Bazaar at lunchtime today ~ in aid of St. Francis’ Care Home, Yilan (宜蘭聖方濟老人長期照護中心)
Day 17: #listen #聆聽 Tuesday December 15
‘God calls us to emotional honesty with ourselves and others, and we can best find that disposition through intentional relationship with God. In the humility of silence, we can hear the voice which says, “I cannot be the God I truly am without being fully in relationship with you.”’
Great lunchtime music at St. John’s University ~ a big must-listen!