Christmas 2011The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. -Luke 2:20
At the birth of Jesus, amidst the dirt and straw of a stable, millennia of promises, prophecies, and hopes were fulfilled. In the birth of a child, something that happens every single day all over the world, something happened that would change the world. Everything the faithful were anticipating took shape. It was the alignment of all that was meant to be. But the birth of Jesus has that power and significance only if he really is who he said he was.
The shepherds heard, they saw, and it was all just as they had been told. In a perfect conjunction of heaven and earth, God came to earth, connecting the two for his eternal purposes. Years later, Jesus would tell us in so many different ways, "I have come into the world as a light" (John 12:46); "I have come that they may have life and have it to the full" (John 10:10); "For this reason I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth," (John 18:37).
When we are sensing the dirtiness of life in this world, we can focus on the purity of Christ.
When we feel weak, we can lean on the power of Christ.
When we are ill, we can remember that he is the great physician.
When we are confused, we can turn to his words to get our bearings.
When we are damaged, we can remember that he said that he would not break a bruised reed nor snuff out a smoldering wick.
When we know we have sinned, we can know his forgiveness.
When we are wayward, we can remember he called himself "the way."
When we have been lied to, we can remember he called himself "the truth."
When we feel like our energy and our enthusiasm is waning, we can remember that he called himself "the life."
And so, we can pray:
Thank you Lord Christ for humbling yourself and taking the form of man. Thank you for pushing back the darkness of this world and of my life. Thank you for fully living before us so that we can see just how much life we can have. Let me live for the next 52 weeks in the light of your ongoing presence and power in this world. And then let me celebrate Christmas again-with joy. Amen