How Christmas Continued #18

I am Susanna and I, too, was remembered to have followed Jesus. Just think my name appears in a book that is all about Jesus. Only, one of the writers found room in his story of Jesus for me. All Luke, the Gentile physician, had to say about me is, "Susanna, with many other women not named, helped to support Jesus out of their own means." The other writers did not bother to mention my name; yet, I too was with Jesus to the end. Only, there I am one of the other women. There too, I am the nameless one on whom the Lord depended to make out on earth. Just think of the many women who never got their names printed or written or even mentioned at their own funeral; yet, without their contribution, regardless how small it may have been, things would have turned out differently. What would have happened to Jesus' mission without the help of the other women? I dare say, that His work would have suffered additional hardships. Our names were not up in front, but our deeds were. And that was why we were remembered for what we had done.

How Christmas Continued #17

I was not one of the eager volunteers to follow the Prophet Jesus. I had a good life. I had a husband, two sons and a good business. I also was an opportunist. When our sons were chosen by the Prophet that made the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk and feed thousands, we were all in awe. And when both our sons were chosen to be members of a group of twelve that would be placed in charge over the twelve tribes in a new kingdom, I began to see a vision of grandeur. The miracles and the crowds reminded us of the days of Moses and King David. Yet, all this was taking place without violence. Jesus was changing us into a people that could win without fighting. The words He spoke were more powerful than the sword. His peaceful way of leadership frightened our leaders and they began to plot against our spiritual or moral leader. We the women longed for a leader that could save us from bloodshed and the loss of our men in conflicts with our enemies. To our dismay, our enemies were not the Romans but our own leaders. We became discouraged when Jesus did not fight back but chose to die instead. In time, His return from the dead cleared up my misconstrued vision of an earthly kingdom. It was incomprehensible for us to understand that tragedy had to precede victory. We had to live through it.

How Christmas Continued #16

I spent many days in bed. I had a fever that would not let me go. Sometimes my body was trenched in sweat and at other times in chills. I would feel as if I was burning up and then as if I was freezing. The fever incapacitated me. It made me useless. I felt so hot that I could not stand up or function in any way. It was a handicapping infliction that robbed me of what I loved most. The thing that I loved most of all was to be useful and serve others. My home was noted for being hospitable and courteous. As long as I could remember, we had people come and stay with us. We were in the fishing business and all of our customers and friends were always welcome at our home. Before I succumbed to this fever, I made people feel comfortable and welcome. Now my daughter was in charge. Instead of helping her, I was an added burden to those whom I loved.

How Christmas Continued #15

Andrew and I, John Zebedee, we were present when the Baptizer identified the dove that had descended on Jesus while He emerged from the water as the Holy Spirit. In due time, we would learn that God was Spirit and Jesus, the Man, was endowed with that Spirit. In Jesus, God was with us and Jesus could and did pass on that Spirit to all of His followers. He immersed us in the Spirit similar to being immersed in water. He, Himself, lived and worked in the power of the Spirit. We were not instantly impacted by the idea that there was a world of the Spirit and a kingdom that was not of this world. Like Nicodemus, we did not immediately grasp how the Spirit of God could work in us and through us. It would be some time and a number of miracles before we were ready to become instruments of the Spirit. The first among us was Simon Peter, who was touched by the Spirit of God and was able to identify Jesus as the Son of God for us. The rest of us were endowed with the Spirit of Christ after He arose from the grave.