Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago · 2 min. reading time · ~100 ·

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Hope springs...eternal

Hope springs...eternal


A very routine thing happened to young newly-weds; they had a child (then several after).

What happened that turned ordinary to extraordinary was the circumstances that around surrounded this first birth 2020-odd years ago. Almost all of you will know this story, even if you don't believe it. Regardless of choice, this event changed our history so much, it altered time itself; as a calendar, and to give rise to the last Prophet Muhammed, who was the founder of the religion of Islam, some 550 years later.

1. Hell no: this is NOT a religious commentary.

What I find so fascinating is that we spend an inordinate amount of time in dreaming possibilities, investing hope, fighting for change, striving for the impossible. What our culture is showing us is the brink; reflected in Hollywood to novels, editorials to tabloids.
But this wee lad - the most vulnerable being on the planet (as babies are), survived. The odds were so firmly stacked against him and his parents - especially his mother; an intelligent being has to ask: How, and why? I deliberately resist the history lesson :)

But, it does make me wonder
Anyone reading this will be 'privileged' in some form or other, and not because they're reading this, but because of where WE are. In fact, I think we are so very distracted with all our knowledge, all our intelligence, our education, our innovation , and the myriad of concepts grabbing our attention; we are ripe. Back to that in a moment......

In the time when the baby Jesus was born, things were, ah...pretty busy. The child was born in either a natural cave; more likely in a stone-build barn for animals of the Inn. And he didn't grow to a fair-haired hippy, but a very average-looking Jordanian/Israeli/Lebanese fella. At the time just prior to his birth census-taking going on, causing entire families to re-route to their origins (under the  tutelage of the Roman Empire). The very young mother (probably 14 - 16) who would normally have been stoned to death for her 'alleged' crime, had to ride fully pregnant on a damned donkey. Beats a camel - I don't advise that as a carrier; my babe slept for a week after that! The Romans were 'reasonable' usurpers in the scheme of things  - rather like the Brits when they had the Empire; a bit more bloody, but hey. Local government was allowed of sorts, so the Roman-appointed Herod the Great, an Israelite (Jew), was a maniacal beast who actually believed in what wise-guys were whispering in his head about the son of God being born. As a result, he sent out his army to kill every newborn male baby - now, that's faith! The couple escapes to Egypt and so it goes on.

2. Here's my point........

I may be a Christian of sorts; a truly bad one at that. But I do enjoy eschatology, mirroring of Danial to, say, Revelation. So my point is this;  in our lives now, we just couldn't be more unprepared for end-times, as is says in so many biblical references. We have become used to the idea of our great problems of planet and people. Same for the parents of the child Jesus, as they must have felt their earth's demise so many times, used to it. God, it appears, has a great sense of irony. Even the Israelites were thunder-stuck. Their Messiah, Savior, was meant to come in as a Lion, not a lamb! I have a huge empathy for God's 'chosen people' for the eons of having to have their most intimate of struggles documented. 

But what a wonder; a mere babe, from the ranks of the subservient youth that were all the elder generation had to offer as scrupulously watched offerings, no position, under alien power...the highest they had was morality; yet this baby was born, lived.....sorta mind-blowing.

Happy Holidays y'all!

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Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #26

Yeah....I hear you Harvey Lloyd and that powerful story; the most important decisions we make should not be swayed by circumstance, time or life. What you extended to your friend is exactly what church life teaches us. Yes, the church is full of sinners - why else would we belong? I just haven't found the right one in this country yet.

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #25

Church is a place we can share journeys of consequence and witness how many others face their trials and tribulations. Not a prerequisite for our faith but does help us grow. Even with all the hypocrites that attend. It seems that modern times has allowed us to distort morality into what our genuine brand is and change it as it suites us. My personal opinion is that this unique branding and self experience doesn't fare well in social settings. Whereby everyone is unique. But this too is a choice. I don't condemn or condone the choice. Again its only when someone makes a choice and the consequences are to big for them to bare. It is now assumed that the consequence is outside of our responsibility, so must lie with someone/thing else. Poor planning on your part does not constitute and emergency on my part. Doesn't mean i wont help or assist, i am just not responsible for the mess you have stepped in, nor is anyone else. A great friend made the choice to cheat on his wife, who was also a great friend. When he returned from his week long junket he started to tell me why he did it. Yes i shushed him. I asked could you have made a different choice? He said yes. Then lets talk about how you can make your wife whole again by seeking forgiveness. He wanted to continue to justify his position. I said my answer will always be the same, why did you marry her? She forgave him after much prayer and consideration. They have three great children today and our friends the parents are very happy.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #24

Absolutely bang on Harvey Lloyd - I could not have said it better! Each of us have choices even when we THINK we don't; attitude, action, thought is a particular beastie for me. The basis of mindfulness teaches the same thing the bible has taught from Gen 6:5 onwards; bad or toxic thoughts may come into our heads, but it doesn't mean we have to sit them down - invite them for dinner, when we can just push them out! I like my faith to be a 'hands-on' and practical entity (not that I succeed always), like a suit. I rarely go to church, but church is not about God, it's about Christians, no?? ....I'm really not sure myself about that last statement.........

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #23

I know i have trouble when my notifications pile up. I have to delete them. If not the notifications become sportatic if non existant. The questions that come forward within christianity seem to always be philosophical, scientific or metaphorical. But i have a standing question that brings these from these lofty places back down to the heart of the matter. "YOU" will face issues, problems and adversity. Where will "YOU" pull the strength, courage and focus to face these circumstances? When we face uncertainty in all its forms we have to chose a path to take. What criteria do we use within the choice? The most economical, socially acceptable or maybe we use survival criteria and dam everyone else. I don't ask anyone to chose my criteria, but only to reflect that God offers a criteria of a path of life. If you chose a different one YOU will have to live with the consequences, as i will live with mine. We all stand responsible for our choices. A spiritual walk is not a scorecard but rather a journey of enlightenment. Others may differ in their journey, even to the point of being two faced. This does not change the fact you will face the circumstances with the beliefs you carry. Humanity needs to get back to being responsible for their choices. Your beliefs are your own criteria for facing life's circumstances. Look to that belief for the circumstances you now reside. Not someone else.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #22

Thank you for your faithfulness; I am very thankful for it, dear Harvey Lloyd! (BTW: I need to grow an IT bone...not getting any alerts to comments?...) It's the true courage it takes to make that stand that I applaud; ain't easy! I thing our lovely Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher brought up a fine point about the two-faces of religion: Not to be confused with faith, I think. I KNOW I'm not a 'thumper' either and that's about the level of conviction I CAN state! As you so rightly said, 'Our choices do not bring a sense of fair play, but rather merely set us up for confrontation with another's reality.' Amen to that. For the agnostics out there; I'll settle for that :) Thanks so much my friend!

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #21

Tough question. Our narrative from parents through young adulthood is what we face when the real world comes to light. That spot where real life explodes onto our page from school years. Family, mortgage and careers. I am pretty confident we enter that realm with the question, is this it? This is when we cross the road to our inner selves and begin to seek the "better" way. I'm not a thumper but we all will chose a path, most today tend to chose the default path. The one laid out by social group thinking and we meander through the various stages. The Bible offers a path. Its a choice. You aptly answered your own question. We take on faith that what the Bible says is true. No we cant prove anything, its what we believe, nor can anyone disprove the Bible. If we make a choice, then we must be willing to live with consequences of these choices. Our choices do not bring a sense of fair play, but rather merely set us up for confrontation with another's reality. For me the Bible expresses this condition and offers a path to address these differences, not fairly, but in a way each enjoys life. Your boulder comment is apt, in we all grow and what was not seen now is, its new. How you meet this challenge is part of your faith. Or its the unraveling of the same.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #20

Lovely Lana - you always bring color into my black and white heart, sweet friend!

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #19

Missed this - apologies, Lisa \ud83d\udc1d Gallagher would have to say to that last statement? I honestly don't know if that's a good or bad way of doing it :) Couldn't agree more about Christians and flaws; as a fully dysfunctional person, I often say that the problem with Christian churches is that they're full! :)

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #18

Sorry for typos below, I suck at typing on my phone keyboard lol

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #17

I used to be a full fledged Christian until I began to encounter many bible thumpers who didnt walk the talk. I set out on my own journey and I can honestly say I have faith but it may differ from the Christian faith a bit. I still cant wrap my mind around the idea that Jesus was sn immaculate conception. Considering the era, its more likely that Mary was raped and sought safety with the help of others. I believe Jesus became a voice for non believers and he was idolized. I also feel there are many parables within the bible that each of us can relate to. The burden of trying to live a perfect life is one too much to bear since we are all humns with flaws. Id like to believe at Christmas and through out the year, God (a spiritual entity for me) understands our hearts better than we ourselves do. It takes a lot of weight off my heart feeling that an something much larger than us is always nudging each of us toward the light. This helps to keep me humble and balanced. A great message Lisa Vanderburg, sorry if I went off topic.

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #16

We are all in the same wagon, seeking the answers to the questions that life delivers. Many have gone before us with some great answers and we will lay ours down to our connections as we move forward. But in the end it is the foundation we choose to answer our questions on. Its really not about religion, but about seeing the difference between reacting or being proactive, internally. Do we choose our existence or are we anchored to the narrative we have experienced? How you answer and seek self awareness with the question will lead you to somewhere different. Enjoy the holidays.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #15

Harvey Lloyd - that is the most excellent comment EVER! Better than my wee buzz by far! It's so hard not to get all religious-y and yet acknowledge the sameness and the chasm of lives past. It is this time of year that I want to so feel the blood, sweat and tears of so many; our true, unwashed humanity that Christ died for...blows my mind! May you be blessed dear man, and your family love abundantly as I expect y'all do!

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #14

Good reminder Geoff Hudson-Searle; Isaiah was a great teacher and the messianic message of his chapter 53 is still 'uncomfortable' in Rabbinical training. My heart aches for their perceived lost promise....for this was a mighty and tortuous history the Israelites had; not at all easy being favored by God! But to avoid ''religion'', I chose the parents' plight. How alone they must have felt; how terrified was Mary in her incredibly vulnerable state; how great was the onus on Joseph to keep all of them safe with [seemingly] the whole world against them? Beggars belief really! Very happy Christmas to you and yours; be blessed!

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #13

A great post i have come to several times. It reveals so much with each read. I searched for a context of a comment that would add to the great thoughts. Kept coming up empty. This time the word choice came to mind as i was reading. The emotional band wagon you refer in an early paragraph is a wagon that requires tremendous energy to engage, keep rolling, and most importantly is meaningless in the end. Oh we can stand on high ground with our emotional out bursts of moral value, but the ears we speak to will eventually move on to the "next thing" . We will have to find new ways to get the wagon rolling again. The choice to live a spiritual life removes us from the echo chamber of emotional wagons that lead us to empty shelters of meaninglessness. Its no easier but brings the fulfillment of life as part of its quest. During this season we return to Bethlehem at that moment Jesus was born. We step over a lot of history to get there. Our minds tend to see time vertically, everything happened yesterday. But time is horizontal. From Genesis to today is a timeline that shows the choice from many perspectives. May the season bring you the Joy and Peace that is promised in your service and goodwill.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #12

Thank you kindly, dear Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee; sage words for clear heads! Wishing you every blessing this season.

Geoff Hudson-Searle

4 years ago #11

Such an amazing buzz Lisa Vanderburg we live in such a chaotic and cynical world at times and depending upon what you believe in life, I have come to the realisation that a majority of Christians underestimate just how magnificent, marvelous, and miraculous was the birth of Christ Jesus. At root, this lack of awareness comes down to the overlooking of a prophecy of Isaiah. “Before she was in labor she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she was delivered of a son. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things?” Is 66:7 This is no doubt a mysterious and prophetic passage from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. Alas, it is likely that you do not know what it ultimately references: The miraculous Birth of Christ Jesus. As Christmas nears, images of the Christ Child and his Mother Mary increasingly fill hearts and minds. And it is at this time of year when the souls of men seem more receptive to the great mysteries of Christ’s childhood in which his mother is inextricably linked.

Ali Anani

4 years ago #10

This is acall and is very timely to face human reality dear Lisa Vanderburg. When we face reality only we may improve on it.

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #9

Thanks for all the shares et al!

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #8

Debasish Majumder, you are forever faithful and gentle in all your outstanding contributions! Thank you so much my friend, and I wish for you every GOOD blessing this year!

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #7

Thank you, lovely Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador's - something to the extent that the milk of human kindness seems to run dry. Are we 'overwhelmed' with the great needs and wants of an exploding global population? Sometimes it seems we know too much and would be better served by baby-steps. But we can't 'un-know' and must face the challenges with all the love we can muster! Wishing you peace, joy and love this Christmas!

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #6

So true CityVP \ud83d\udc1d Manjit; everything has an inevitable end; I agree with your eschatology meaning! But it's that very predictability we have in hindsight that always seems to surprise us, even though we knew it will come to be. Happy Hols, dude!

Lisa Vanderburg

4 years ago #5

I am touched Pascal Derrien. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas!

Debasish Majumder

4 years ago #4

i agree with the statement made by madam Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador! enjoyed read and shared. thank you for the share madam.
I agree with your statement "We have become used to the idea of our great problems of planet and people.", which is concerning. Is it because people don't care or think it won't happen to them? Perhaps, those with the shoulder pad attitude don't want to face reality or think the problems with the planet and people will just go away. I agree with Pascal Derrien about the relevance of this article.

CityVP Manjit

4 years ago #2

Interesting word "eschatology". Even the Sun is going to have its eschatological moment when it becomes a red dwarf and eventually run out of its fuel. When it becomes red dwarf the Earth is definitely in "End Times", but is that end times for bacteria or any sentient beings that we may end up creating with our obsession with discovering things like what makes the Sun burn and how to create life forms that would not otherwise be created if we had not tinkered with it. What we can make a fair prediction is that human existence will at least be around for the next 400 years but no one knows what the quality of that existence will be. If we are obsessed with the exit date for the human species that is no different in theology to the obsession we have in science to tinker with the building blocks of life or inject ourselves with nanotechnology so the age of the machine becomes something within us and not just a social network :-)

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #1

The most relevant holiday article so far this season 🎅

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