THE MYSTERY OF CHRISTMAS

Many of us this year won’t be able to carry on with our usual Christmas traditions. I want to share with you one of my Christmas traditions that is immune from COVID restrictions.

I have a book of Christmas devotions by Max Lucado and every Christmas Day at some point I get it down and read a particular passage. I do this because it helps me refocus on what Christmas is actually all about and recapture the wonder and mystery of Christmas. I hope it will do the same for you, even all of the COVID restrictions we are living with can’t rob us the wonder and gratitude that flows from the manger. May you and your family, whatever you do this Christmas, have a wonderful, significant Christmas

“Untethered by time, God sees us all. From the backwoods of Virginia to the business district of London; from the Vikings  to the astronauts, from the cave-dwellers to the kings, from the hut-builders to the finger-pointers to the rock-stackers, he sees us, Vagabonds and ragamuffins ail, he saw us before we were born.

And he loves what he sees. Flooded by emotion. Overcome by pride, the Starmaker turns to us, one by one, and says, “You are my child. I love you dearly. I’m aware that someday you’ll turn from me and walk away. But I want you to know, I’ve already provided a way back.

And to prove it, he did something extraordinary. Stepping from the throne, he removed his robe of light and wrapped himself in skin: pigmented, human skin. The light of the universe entered a dark, wet womb. He whom angels worship nestled himself in the placenta of a peasant, was birthed into the cold night  and then slept on cow’s hay.

Mary didn’t know whether to give him milk or give him praise, but she gave him both since he was, as near as she could figure, hungry and holy.

Joseph didn’t know whether to call him junior or Father. But in the end called him Jesus, since that’s what the angel had said and since he didn’t have the faintest idea what to name a God he could cradle in his arms.

Don’t you think …  their heads titled and their minds wondered, “what in the world are you doing God?” Or, better phrased. “God what are you doing in the world?”

“Can anything make me stop loving you?” God asks. “Watch me speak your language, sleep on your earth, and feel your hurts. Behold the maker of sight and sound as he sneezes, coughs, and blows his nose. You wonder if I understand how you feel? Look into the dancing eyes of the kid in Nazareth; that’s God walking to school. Ponder the toddler at Mary s table; that’s God spilling his milk.

You wonder how long my love will last? Find your answer on a splintered cross, on a craggy hill. That’s me you see up there, your maker, your God, nail-stabbed and bleeding. Covered in spit and sin soaked.

“THAT’S YOUR SIN I’M FEELING. THAT’S YOUR DEATH I’M DYING. THAT’S YOUR RESURRECTION I’M LIVING. THAT’S HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU.”

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