Christmas Message 2019
On behalf of Heart Two Heart Ministries, we want to wish all a very happy and blessed Christmas. As we enter into the New Year, may the love of Jesus be our everything- may He touch our families with conversion and the born again experience, even as He did for St. Paul on the road to Damascus.
We want to thank all those who joined in our Christmas fast for families. We believe we will see results and hear reports of what God is doing in your families. Many of us, perhaps all of us, have family members who need either a fresh baptism, or a first time encounter with the love of God. St. Paul must have had many people praying for him…let us continue to pray for those that are hopeless and lost.
Yet, without FAITH prayer is nearly useless. Does God like us to talk to Him? Of course. However, we will not receive results of our prayer without trusting in His Word to accomplish what it says.
In January and February of this year, we believed the Lord was calling us to "leave all things, give everything away to the poor," and follow Jesus. (Matt. 19:21) We did- and felt the calling of the Lord to go to the nations with the Gospel. Before we knew it, we were sent all over Asia, working with wonderful priests. Hallelujah. What we noticed there is that in the areas influenced by the West there is a growing moral depravity. Yet, in the "third world" there is still a purity and innocence among the people. While they have nothing, they have kindness and hospitality. We saw great fruit among God's people there, because of such openness and love for God.
Unfortunately, when we returned to North America we experienced the shock of our culture's general coldness. "There was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:7)
We found ourselves in a very difficult position. For the second time in two years, we found ourselves with no place to go, no place to call our own. If we didn’t have a car, we would have been on the street. Our health was deteriorating, our hope was diminishing. Yet, we knew that the Lord has promised us a house, a new house of ministry for years. In our daily Bible reading, we came across the Scripture in Psalms, which suddenly had new meaning: “the Lord gives a home to the desolate.” (Ps. 68:6)
We began to say it, to pray it, believe it, and talk about it. And you know what? It came to pass.
The fact is, whatever you are going through, whether it be with family members who have gone astray, financial oppression and difficulties, or whatever it is, God’s Word has an answer that you can stand on. It is up to you to find out what He says…if you pray into that and stand on it, you WILL see it come to pass. What is activated in the spiritual realm through prayer and the Word will manifest in the physical realm (earth). It has to! (Isaiah 55:9-11)
The Scripture we received for Mary’s House is the following:
“And my people, upon whom my name is called, being converted, shall make supplication to me, and seek out my face, and do penance for their most wicked ways: then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.
My eyes also shall be open, and my ears attentive to the prayer of him that shall pray in this place.
For I have chosen, and have sanctified this place, that my name may be there for ever, and my eyes and my heart may remain there perpetually.”
(2 Chronicles 7:14-16)
What a Scripture it is! Because it is God’s house, the Scripture says, God will see and hear the prayers of whoever prays here. He has chosen this house, and His Name will be here forever, His eyes and heart remaining here…therefore we can know and stand on the fact that God’s people will come and pray here, their prayers will be answered. His Name will be magnified (in worship, Bible reading, etc.) and His revelation (eyes and heart) will be accessible in the Spirit.
What is God saying about your situation? We encourage you to get in His Word and find out. Then, as you believe, you will see it manifest. Let us pray, as St. John Paul II did, “help us to say yes to the Lord, who calls us to cooperate in the divine plan of salvation. Amen.”
What is God saying to us on this Christmas in 2019? Certainly, it seems we are getting closer and closer to the end, when Jesus comes to take us home. World events, apostasy in the Church, people falling away, you name it, it is happening.
Yet, we can put our hope in the Christ child, who came down even though there was so much sin and darkness and hopelessness. In fact, the world was entirely hopeless without Christ- since we are not saved by works of the law, He had to die to make a way for us to be saved. (Ephes. 2:8)
Without Him, we go to hell and a handbasket. Do we really believe this? How different does our life look with Him in it, than it was without Him? There should be a significant change when we receive God’s love! As Canadian Jesuit theologian Bernard Lonergan said, “God does not love me because I am beautiful and loveable and important. Rather, I am beautiful, loveable and important because God loves me.” We are ugly when sin rules us- beautiful when God’s love fills us and we repent and turn back to Him to be cleansed in His Blood.
This year, we have noticed less and less people decorating their homes with Christmas lights. No one dresses up for church anymore. However, the expectation of the Christmas season is still believed to be something special. The world tells us it is about families coming “home for the holidays,” Christmas “cheer.” Still, thankfully there is a semblance of Christmas generosity in helping the poor, and valuing time with family.
However, many (if not most) people suffer at Christmastime, many times because they don’t have these things. Truly, to hope for a perfect “white Christmas” with all the family gathered around the table singing “Auld Lang Syne” like It’s a Wonderful Life is not realistic. Perhaps more people are struggling than we realize, like George Bailey who tried committing suicide on Christmas Eve itself.
Not everything is perfect and it’s not meant to be. The earth is dark and full of troubles. (John 16:33) Yet, there really is a profound reason for REAL JOY!
Let us rediscover the real basis for Christmas celebration through Scripture, meditating and listening to God in our own experiences and prayer. Let us come back to God this Christmas to find what it’s all about.
Jesus’ ministry heart message is the promise that His reign on earth will come! Pain and suffering, injustice and even death will come. But, eventually peace will abound. In the writings of the prophet Isaiah, you can see this longing and promise. We can all agree within us is a hope and a yearning for a world free of suffering and discord. We have also experienced from time to time a separation from God…but we will be overcomers eventually in every area of our lives if we choose to exercise our faith in Him. This is Good News: Jesus is the reason for the season.
Spiritual living is waiting: sometimes it feels like we are waiting forever. We have learned that God has His own agenda. It is not hardly ever according to our agenda. Learning to wait, however, and to be attentive has been crucial to our spiritual formation. I needed this discipline to LET GO of our own agendas and plans. We have learned that God’s plan is always definitely better than our plans as He knows the final end of any circumstance, but we would never say it has been easy waiting on God and finding out that He is already here, breaking into our lives.
You see, you go to the Lord about your troubles. You find what He promises about your situation in the Bible. For example, you’re believing God will save your loved ones because of Acts 16:31. However, you sometimes have to wait for many painful years before it comes to pass. St. Monica prayed and believed for 30 years before Augustine’s conversion. Sometimes, it just happens overnight- a “suddenly.” We believe that suddenlies are going to be released for many people soon. Yet, others will have to stick it out for what seems like an eternity. The fact is, God will always come through.
Look at Israel- they had prophesied, hoped and believed for a Savior since the beginning of time after the Fall of man. It took thousands of years for Jesus to come- but thank God He did! And now, it doesn’t matter how long it took- when you get to the Promised Land, you forget about the desert you had to walk through. But the truth is, it will definitely go quicker through the desert if we don’t complain and stay in faith in the Word! (Numbers 32: 13)
Just as Israel believed and imagined the coming of the Messiah, let us believe and imagine God’s Word coming to pass in our own lives: the salvation of loved ones, the fruitfulness of our ministries, whatever our dreams with God are. Time is evaporating- the birth of Bethlehem is now beginning in our lives. Lord, give us eyes to see it, and a heart to believe it. Amen.
Have a “Mary” Christmas. In the Father’s Love,
Lee Anne and Danny Devine III Heart Two Heart Ministries Inc.