Category Archives: Scripture

What Would Have Happened if There Had Been…


 

…room for them in the inn?


 
cf. Luke 2:7, King James Version
 
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What the Angels Sang


 

Glory to God in the highest!


 
Luke 2:14a, King James Version
 
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Advent: Day 17

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O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion! When God restores the fortunes of his people, Jacob will rejoice and Israel be glad.
 
Psalm 53:6, Revised Standard Version
 

We shall rejoice, Lord,
when You restore our fortunes
as the desert blooms.

 
Text and photo © 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
Photo: Ocotillo blossoms, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Southern California
 
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More SkyWatch Friday photos here
 
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More Himmelsk photos here

Advent: Day 12

I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.
Isaiah 41:18, Revised Standard Version

 
We are short-staffed at our middle school this year, and often teachers are assigned temporary extra duty—without extra pay, of course.
 
Several weeks ago, I was assigned to morning duty in the cafeteria, along with the other special education teacher. Presumably, we special ed teachers don’t have anything important to do in the morning before school starts, so we are at the mercy of the need of the moment. (We’ve also been pressed into service as substitute teachers.)
 
A middle school cafeteria first thing in the morning is a wilderness. Many of the students are half-awake, and they willfully (or sleepily) break the rules. Not a morning goes by but what I don’t have to say to students, “Take off your hood, please,” or “No, you may not go to the bathroom without a pass,” or “The next time I see your cell phone, I’ll have to confiscate it.”
 
After several week of standing guard in the wilderness, and fuming about it, I reluctantly resigned myself to my fate: I am going to be stuck with morning cafeteria duty for the rest of the year, so I might as well make the best of it.
 
This morning, out of sheer boredom, I started humming “O Little Town of Bethlehem” softly to myself. To my delight, I realized that no one could hear me above the din raised by several hundred chattering students. (Yes, despite their sleepiness, they can still talk.)
 
As I continued humming the familiar Christmas carol, while thinking of the words, the wilderness of the cafeteria suddenly became a place of beauty and grace. The “dry land” of the breakfast room became “springs of water,” nourishing my soul.
 
The church calendar contains as many as 34 weeks of so-called Ordinary Time, a season with no major celebrations.
 
Advent, however, is far from ordinary. It is a season of expectation, providing opportunities for me to see God change the most barren wilderness in my life into a flourishing field fed by springs of living water.

Advent: Day 4

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
Psalm 119:18, Revised Standard Version

 
Anyone who reads Scripture knows that it’s not always an easy task. There are some things in the Bible that are hard to understand.
 
No wonder the psalmist asks God to open his eyes. He knows that without divine intervention, the words he reads probably won’t make much sense.
 
The longer I’m in the classroom, the more certain I am that without divine intervention, teaching doesn’t make much sense either.
 
If I were to pray, then, as the psalmist prayed, my prayers would probably sound something like this:
 
Open my eyes to see beyond the rude and crude exterior of C-Girl, and to find the hidden gems of gentleness within her.
 
Open my eyes to ways to meet the needs of my two eighth-grade students who cannot read.
 
Open my eyes to the gifts that each of my students brings into the classroom every day, even if it is something as simple as a “thank you” or a smile.
 
Open my eyes to ways that I can reach B-Boy, who pays no attention and who constantly seeks new and inventive ways to disrupt my class.
 
Open my eyes so that I can get through to J-Boy, who was busted today for having—and using—drugs on campus. He’s been suspended for ten days and stands a good chance of being expelled.

 
The Advent season is the perfect time to begin praying for open eyes. But if, when Advent ends, so does my praying, then my eyes will be closed again, and my praying will have been in vain. So there’s one more prayer I need to utter in all seasons:
 
Open my eyes—and my heart—as my journey in this middle school classroom continues into the year 2012, and into the years beyond.

Shaking

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Singers and dancers
shaking their timbrels and hips—
holy the rhythm!

 
 
Text and photo © 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
Photo: Bible open to Psalm 150
 
More The Height of Haiku Challenge, Day 29 with the theme “Rhythm” here
 

Planted

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Rivers of water—
beside them I am planted,
ready to bear fruit.

 
 
Text and photo © 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
Photo: Bible open to Psalm 1:3
 
More The Height of Haiku Challenge, Day 23 with the theme “Water” here
 
More Haiku My Heart at Recuerda Mi Corazon here

Bull’s-Eye

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Make love your bull’s-eye,
taking aim in all seasons
with arrows of faith.

 
 
Text and photo © 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
Photo: Bible open to 1 Corinthians 14:1
 
More The Height of Haiku Challenge, Day 22 with the theme “Bull’s-Eye” here
 

While

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While the earth remains,
so will summer and winter,
seedtime and harvest.

 
 
Text and photo © 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
Photo: Bible open to Genesis 8:22
 
More The Height of Haiku Challenge, Day 17 with the theme “Winter” here
 
More Haiku My Heart at Recuerda Mi Corazon here
 
More Monday Poetry Train Revisited #136 here
 

Stitched

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stitched in golden bells—
the hem of the priestly robe,
chiming praise to God

 
 
Text and photo © 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
Photo: Bible open to Exodus 28:34
 
More The Height of Haiku Challenge, Day 16 with theme “Chime” here
 
More Sensational Haiku Wednesday with the theme “Freestyle” here
 
More Haiku My Heart at Recuerda Mi Corazon here
 
More Monday Poetry Train Revisited #136 here