Month: December 2011

Fourth Sunday Of Advent: Purposeful Imprisonment

“When the jailer woke and saw  that the prison doors were open, he drew out his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.  But Paul cried out with a loud voice, ‘Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.'”  Acts of the Apostles 16:27,28

Nothing is more cruel than to be punished while living and doing rightly.  As in the times of Paul and Silas, our selfish society can be quite brutal to those who proclaim and practice goodness when it must take a financial loss.  Such an imprisonment is no badge of shame.  Instead, it is a reason for rejoicing as Jesus taught us.

Beach Driftwood

Maintain your faith in times of righteous depravity and persecution.  Those who also suffer rightly and wrongly need to see your shining light of hope in the midst of shared darkness.  Don’t take advantage of even the most miraculous means of escape from your prison.  You may find yourself just as self-serving as those who put you there.

Instead, proclaim life to those who feel that all is lost.  Show them the path that gives freedom even to the imprisoned.  In due time, God shall release you from the bondage inflicted by the oppressors.  Until then, take joy in what you suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ.  Others are paying attention, some will find salvation by your faith among them.

Your Brother in Christ,

Cyprian Bluemood

Order of Saint Simon of Cyrene

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Third Sunday Of Advent: Patience Toward Destiny

“…Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.  After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed …”  (Genesis 40:23, 41:1)

Few things hurt worse than waiting for better days to come around.  This is especially true when the suffering you go through has been brought on by the conspiracies, lies, and forgetfulness of others.  This is where we find Joseph.  Indeed, he opened his mouth one too many times about his dreams.  But his jealous brothers took matters way to far to sell him into slavery.  His master had him thrown in prison based on a lying wife.  And the Pharaoh’s butler, whom he revealed a word of hopeful revelation to, did not pass on a word that would save him from the dungeon for another two years.  From the time of his initial bondage until his release and rise to power, Joseph had gone through, at least, three or four years of struggle and waiting.

Beyond Fog

Too often, we expect fulfillment and success to arrive quickly and painlessly in our lives.  Indeed, some ministers of the Gospel will market such promises to gain members and money.  The text teaches the real probability of something different.  Only God can reveal your destiny to you.  Only God can make that dream come true on his time.  And in that meantime, you may suffer for years.

But, be patient.  The Lord was with Joseph giving him authority even in his misery as a prisoner and slave.  The Lord gave him wisdom to interpret the deepest thoughts of others while dwelling in places of deep despair.  The gifts of authority and wisdom were being hardened and sharpened in bondage just as a sword is under fire, hammer, and stone.  He gave a wise interpretation of the Pharoah’s dream, administrated the surplus harvest and distribution of the grain in famine.  He even reunited with the family who wronged him.

Whatever you suffer, for how long you suffer, be patient to your destiny.  Fully practice the gifts of authority and wisdom the Lord has granted you during your time of sorrow.  In his time, he will bring you out of your dungeon and on to your throne.

Your Brother In Christ,

Cyprian Bluemood

Order of Saint Simon of Cyrene

Second Sunday of Advent: The Place To Be

“… The boy, Samuel, served the Lord in the presence of Eli the Priest. …  The boy, Samuel, grew in the presence of the Lord. ”  It is easy to dismiss the need for church attendance due to the number of well publicised clergy scandals.  It is also simple for those who attend to assume their presence in church as the only requirement for spiritual growth.  A careful reflection on the early years of Samuel opposes such mistaken points of view.

Bethel Alone

Eli, the Priest, and his sons were guilty of the most vile forms of greed, immorality, and lack of discipline.  Yet, this was the place where the Lord revealed himself to a promised child, prepared him as he grew to a young adult, protected him from the devastation around him, and allowed him to live a very unique life.  Samuel was also in a place in mind as he answered, “speak Lord for your servant is listening.”  To receive a full revelation, he had to stop seeking a word from a man, but seek the word of God.

It is my prayer this morning that you will look beyond the corruption that is in the church and see that God is there and wants you there in his presence.  It is my prayer that once inside of the church, that you will open yourself to listen to what he has to say and then speak it.  This is the way of life that offers protection, preparation, and the promise of an abundant life on earth and an eternal life in heaven.

Your Brother in Christ,

Cyprian Bluemood

Order of Saint-Simon of Cyrene