'Tis the season of frantic shopping and gifting and Christmas partying.
The deceiver schemes to avert our gaze from the Holy. And our God is Holy-Holy-Holy! Is it any wonder that the "holiday season" is often characterized by rush, stress, pressure, and overwhelming taxes imposed on our time? Even the noble causes and good intentions can get in the way if we let them, drowning out the quiet.
Hush! Do you hear it? Are you listening? It's past the rustling wrapping paper, beyond the crunch of two-day shipping for last minute online bargains. Have we forgotten in our giving our connection to the Love-Gift himself?
Imagine yourself a witness to the single most world-changing, dimension-shattering event:
The heavens shiver in delight at the melodies of stars, celebrating the triumph of mercy poured like cleansing myrrh over our ragged attempts to reach pure.
Angels marvel at the great reversal, the Divine spirit conceived into human earth-flesh to rescue broken souls.
Darkness gnashes jagged teeth as hell's worst fear reveals itself in the face of an innocent child. Lonely shepherds from beast-ridden hills become the unlikely heralds of the mind-blowing news. The Messiah, the promised deliverer is here!
Here? Bedded in drooled-on hay, birthed to an exhausted teenage mother in a town far from home? A respectable young carpenter has stepped in as surrogate dad, and comforts his bride in the aftermath of pushing God-flesh into sin-ravaged world. Did they--how could they?!--know the enormity of the salvation this newborn had come to accomplish?
While the people of Bethlehem went about their business. Their busyness. The haggling for food at market and the scolding of wayward children and the lodging of traveling kinsmen and standing in line for Roman registration. Who had time to notice a visit from God?
Step out of the chaos for a moment. Listen for the gentle whisper:
"Be still. Know that I AM God.
I've come to be with you...to be with you.
To be with you.
Be still. Spend time with me.
Get to know my heart for you, and for others.
My dreams for our family reach into all eternity!
Rest in my love--my love that outbid sin so that you could come close to me without shame.
Grow in your knowledge of my extravagant love toward you...in you, through you.
Rejoice! The glad news is still for all the people:
PEACE! Peace between God and man!"
He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. ~ John 1:10-12
Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:18-21