A Christmas Meditation
(Posted December 16, 2020)
This fourth Sunday of Advent has most of us waiting, just waiting for next week when “the real Christmas” begins. It seems strange that, after last Sunday reading about Mary’s visit with Elizabeth, and the fact that both are pregnant, this Sunday brings us back to the very beginning before that day, back when God first “picked” Mary to be his son’s mother. But really, when you think about that, the timing isn’t all that strange. If we think about Mary as “the original Christmas tree,” and each of us as being personally chosen by God for this journey, it makes sense. Luke takes us back to the very beginning.
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A Christmas Meditation
Pastor and writer Max Lucado reminds us how God begins his relationship with us before he “takes us home” like a fresh evergreen, in this meditation:
“In the manger God loves you; through the cross God saves you. But has he taken you to his home? Not yet. He has work for you to do. He wants the world to see what God can do with his purchased possessions. So . . . he prunes you.
“Once he stabilizes us, the decorating begins. He festoons us with the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. He crowns us. Most people crown their Christmas trees with either an angel or a star. God uses both. He sends his angels to protect us and his Word as a star to guide us. Then he surrounds us with his grace. We become his depot, the distribution point of God’s gifts. He wants no one to leave our presence empty handed. Some people find the gift of salvation. For others the gifts are smaller: a kind word, a good deed. But all the gifts are from God.
“Our task is to stand tall in his love, secure in our place, sparkling in kindness, surrounded by his goodness, freely giving to all who come our way. You, me, and the Christmas tree. Picked, purchased, and pruned.”
Which Crown is Yours?
So as we head toward this last Sunday in Advent, and we wait for an impending storm, let’s ponder whether God has crowned you with an angel or a star, with someone who has led you to be a better person, or whether the Word itself has been your guiding starlight through storm and sunlight.
What will God “festoon” you with this Christmas season? patience? Gratitude for the “light at the end of the tunnel” that vaccines will bring for this challenging year? Wisdom that helps you give even the small gifts of light to others?
Whatever your finery will be, shine on this week ahead, all the way to the Manger.