Saturday, December 28, 2013

God Kissed

Hello Friends.

My friends and I took a little hike Saturday.  I guess it will be our last hike, well at least for this year.  That set me to thinking about this New Year that is just around the corner.

The sentimental Christmas carol “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” may be the theme song for December 24 and 25. But by the 26th, many have changed their tune.  It’s now “On The Road Again.
 
Whether traveling back from a family Christmas gathering, setting off on a snowy or sunny Christmas week vacation, or just returning to the routine of work and daily travel, journeying is a big part of the season called Christmastide, those Twelve Days of Christmas extending from Christmas Eve to Epiphany Eve.
 
In Matthew 2:13-23, Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus are once again on the move.  Having traveled to Bethlehem for Jesus’ birth, Joseph now receives an angelic directive to hit the road again.  A Roman decree, the census ordered by Quirinius, had sent the family to Joseph’s home town for a head-count.  A dream decree, which unveiled Herod’s death-threat, now spurs the new family out of a familiar homeland and into a strange new land. The angelic warning Joseph discerns in a dream is to journey on a “reverse exodus” to flee to Egypt for refuge and the safety of their newborn child.
 
Let’s pause here for a moment to let the bitter irony of this directive to sink in. With the future of the Messiah in his hands, Joseph flees from the Jewish Promised Land and returns to the despised regions of Egypt, the land of Hebrew slavery.  Why does he take this drastic step? Why does Joseph embark on this “reverse exodus?”
 
Well, we can’t know from Joseph’s own words. Because Joseph never speaks in the whole Bible.  He never says a word. He just does.  He’s a man of few words.  No, he’s a man of no words.  Not one grunt or sigh, even.  He’s only a man of action.  He does.  And what he does is trust God.
 
Joseph so trusted the Spirit, and the Spirit’s speaking through God’s forgotten language of dreams, that he drops everything and reverses course on a dream, which he received as a personal word from God. Now let’s be clear. Joseph didn’t receive a burning bush or a pillar of fire by night or a cloud by day.  All Joseph got was a dream. But in that dream Joseph heard a message, trusted the messenger, and whole-heartedly about-faced without qualms or questions.
 
Two chapters later in Matthew, Jesus embarks on his public ministry. Here is his declaration that separated truth from falsehood: “One shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Mt.4:4).
 
That verse has become a cliché, but the cliché needs to be clicked and poked for a moment.  Notice what Jesus says here: we are promised something more than a staple. We are promised a stable.  Each one of us.  We are promised more than bread, the staple of life.  We are promised a stable in which God speaks to each and every one of us.

The mouth of God wants to kiss the soul of every one of you.  You are God-kissed. The first human being came to life when Adam was God-kissed . . . God “breathed” into Adam the breath of life.  The church came to life when the body of Christ was kissed at Pentecost.  And what a make-out session that was.  Hehe

As someone who has been God-kissed, you don’t just get the staples of life.  You get a stable...  in which Christ is born . . . born in and through every one of you.  And with that stable comes a stabilizing promise that each and every one of you may expect a personal word from God.  Not just some bread baked by someone else.  But a personal staple from a personal stable.  That’s what “Emmanuel” means: “God with us.” As God was with us, so we must be “with” others.

We are each promised moments of direct contact with the Spirit, a personal word of the Lord.  Our faith is not based on doctrines, or inherited rituals, or even on the great words of sermons delivered by learned theologians.  We have been promised a stable faith, a faith installed by and instilled with direct personal contacts with God’s spirit.  God does not communicate to the faithful by some generic “Reply All” posting.  The word of God, the very “mouth of God,” speaks personally to each and every one of us, if only we have ears to hear.
Joseph believed that the creator of the universe had a personal interest in, and a personal message for him.  How many miss messages from God because they don’t’ expect to receive them, or they can’t “read” them when they stare us in the face?

In three days it will be a new year — a time when we celebrate the promise of new beginnings, a time when taking new chances seems reasonable, not reckless.  As the New Year of 2014 approaches and we continue on our Christmas journeys, consider the choices Joseph made that changed his life and why he made them.

Will you read the signs and trust that God wants to kiss your life, kiss your soul in 2014?
Will you trust God enough to act on those kisses? 
Pucker up you are about to get Goose Kissed, I mean God kissed!




Blessings,
Goose
 

27 comments:

  1. Agreed...this is a beautiful sermon! Thank you for sharing all these gorgeous photos with us!! xo Chloe and LadyBug

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  2. Hari OM
    Oh yeah, nothing like guidance of the Spirit!! Well said Goose-ji...it is just such listening which has resulted in my moving continents yet again. There are plenty around ready to misinterpret and nay-say this shift in life based upon what they perceive as a mere notion. It is heartening to know that there are such as yourself out there who 'get it'!!!

    However one views it though, a New Year is filled with promise and all that is required is that we do our utmost to fulfill it. I do hope that you and Mom will be full of continued joy and seeing beautiful and I look forward to seeing how your particular year progresses. Much Love with the capital 'ell', hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

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  3. Thank you. Always a moment for us on a Sunday morning for quiet reflection when we stop by. Lovely pics today.Have a serene Sunday and enjoy some big easy.
    Best wishes Molly

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  4. One can not change the past only influence the future...so we let go of 2013 and head into 2014 with the thought that each new sunrise brings a new day

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  5. We are ready to see where life takes us Goose! Have a great day, Lee and Phod

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  6. Thank you- we all need to read something like that on a Sunday. Each new year brings opportunities that with God's Spirit we can take and make the most of!

    Dina and Mom

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  7. I feel Goose kissed and God kissed and these are The MOST Amazing photos ever...

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  8. I hope I can read the signs and I would be happy to be Goose-kissed and God kissed. Many thanks for your wonderful words on sunday and for sharing your pictures with me, brother.

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  9. VERY WELL SAID... and SHOWN in the pictures Goose.

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  10. Hey Goose
    First of all PLEASE thank your sweet zoom for the Sunday inspirational......and thank you and your friends for the fun fun pictures! Sophie still LOVES BERT, AND Goose loves everyone!

    As for Puddles...I agree...but for sure my Nip-a-tinis are free of alcohol but they doe contain a controlled substance!
    Hugs
    Madi your bfff

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  11. Hi Goose, That was such a special message. Our Person really enjoyed it a lot. It is so special to come here on Sundays. Those pictures were fantastic too. Such happy dogs. Take care and have a super day.

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  12. Hi Y'all!

    Beautiful New Year message, Goose! So glad y'all are well and enjoying the Spirit of the Season. Although I shouldn't expect any less from a dog who attends Sunday services along with his friends.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

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  13. Oh Goose I wish I could keep my ears open all the time to hear the message. Thanks you for the Word.
    Thanks for being a friend
    Sweet William The Scot

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  14. Well, Mom and I DO want to kiss your snooter in that last picture... but we also just love your message! And the photos! This is just what we needed. It's been a hard Christmas for Mom and Dad this year, so we thank you for your uplifting post!
    Cammie!

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  15. Such a meaningful and moving message Goose!

    We are always open to being kissed. Whether by you or by God.

    Hugs,
    Lily Belle & Muffin

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  16. Beautiful post again, Goose and Mom. Our Mom said the priest at Mass today had many wonderful adjectives for Joseph, and one of the most important was courageous. So much of all those actions he took required a lot of courage - he is a good example for all to follow.

    We do hope you all have many wonderful hikes together in 2014.

    Woos - Phantom, Ciara, and Lightning

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  17. What a wonderful post!
    Goose, me knows that God's Kiss would be like one from yous --- unconditional and from the heart and soul
    Kisses
    Nellie

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  18. I would be proud to have a God kiss through Goose! The pictures and story are all amazing. Thank you for this beautiful post.


    Loveys Sasha

    p.s. I will be looking forward to a dance with you on New Years, a whole bunch of pals welcoming the New Year together

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  19. Smooch Smooch, great post and wonderful pictures!

    Wyatt and Stanzie

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  20. With our blogging break and the holidays and other things that have been happening behind the scenes, we've been missing your blog. What a beautiful post and photos to come back to. You always, always make me feel better and leave me with a good message to remember. Thank-you for that, and your friendship.

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  21. Oh, I LOVED this postie Goose!! The pics are most beautifuls and the message most wonderfuls. I can't wait for the New Year and to be Goose-kissed, um I mean, God-kissed!! ☺
    Kisses,
    Ruby ♥♥

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  22. Beautiful message and pictures to match. Happy New Year to you.

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  23. We loved your post and message today, Goose! And we read it, then went back through it so Dad could admire all your pictures. He's oooing and aahing over them all!


    Bunny

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  24. Goose, please explain to your mom that this one's for the book. She might act like she doesn't get it, but she does. ;D

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