Dear, dear Father,
Thank you for all your good, good gifts.
Help us, Lord, in your strength to fully live into today, this moment, pulling all the joy and happiness from it and seeing it in the people you have blessed us with.
May we comprehend a tiny bit more the total unexplainable gift of salvation and the amazingness this eve of Christmas and the sunburst of tomorrow’s Christmas Day brings us. Brings this weary world.
Truly and Amen.
Hope ushered in.
Hope rings forth in the sharp cries of a newborn, piercing through the tenseness and pain of labor and delivery.
That cry. It brings joy and laughter, though weary, to a childbirth-fraught mama.
It announces arrival. It announces nine months of growing and waiting and hoping.
It announces endings and beginnings.
In a stable, centuries ago, a cry witnessed, for sure, by a young woman who had found favor, and a faithful man willing to lay down self. Perhaps witnessed by a donkey, a trio or more of sheep, or any other medley of animals that make up a good story anyway. Possibly witnessed by a midwife or an innkeeper’s wife.
We don’t know.
I love the details of a story, but in this story we don’t have all the details written down.
Perhaps the world couldn’t hold all the volumes the Nativity story would fill. We find the basic framework of what we need to know and it is enough.
We don’t know who witnessed it, but I do know the perchance of humankind to step up to help others in their weariness and need, and I do know this world has always contained good people, so I think it’s quite possible there were helping hands.
The kind who show up, quietly, diligently, no fanfare, nothing expected.
The kind who don’t seek their name in the Bethlehem Bulletin or on the Jerusalem Nightly News.
The kind who do the next thing, do the dirty work, stoop to serve.
This night, a wavering newborn cry announced a plan, put in place since the beginning, and a God who had waited and watched and patiently offered His best to those He loves best.
I don’t want to miss the magnitude, dear Father.
I don’t want to miss the magnitude of what the baby in the manger means.
Nor do I want to miss the magnitude of the marvel written right into this very here and now.
This day, this age, this year of 2018, creeping away. This particular era of time, friend, and our Father God has fashioned us to dwell in it. He chose for us to live in a day of looking back at the manger, swaddled snugly and securely in His great grace, lifting our heads to look up, as salvation draws very near.
He didn’t place us two thousand years ago. Not on a throne or in a pasture full of bleating sheep and watchful shepherds. He didn’t send us a stargazing mission or hand us an inn to run. We aren’t there in the temple watching. Though you may find yourself on a trek to Egypt, no doubt you’re traveling in a much different mode than your own two feet.
The Gift of Today:
Friends! We have the gift of Today.
The gift of the Bible in our hands, on our phones, readily at our fingertips. If you’re like me, more than one copy or version of the Bible nestles on your shelves.
The gift of knowing the story, knowing THE BABY.
The gift of knowness. We are known, seen, noticed, LOVED by God.
This is our era.
I want to live relevant to this age you placed me in, Father. I want to steward well.
Glory in the highest! Glory for the baby born decades and decades ago, yet celebrated, ever so much, still!
Glory in the highest! Glory to the King of Kings!
Glory in the highest! Glory for the compelling contrast of simple stable standing in the shadow of celestial palace.
Glory in the highest! Glory to our Savior!
Glory in the highest! Glory because every battle is won.
Thank-you. It’s too simple, Father, but it’s all I have to offer. All I have to bring.
Beautiful, Blessed Christmas, friends!
Hebrews 9:28 ~ “Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.”