Monday, December 24, 2012

A Great Light

"The people walking in darkness
 have seen a great light; 
on those living in the land of the shadow of death 
a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation 
and increased their joy.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, 
and the government will be on his shoulders.
 And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, 
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
-Isaiah 9: 2-3a, 6

(I wrote the following for the December 24th date in our church's Advent devotional.)

Read:  Isaiah 9:2-7, Psalm 96, Titus 2:11-14, Luke 2:1-14

Christmas Eve is the night it typically hits me that, if I do not slow down and savor the moment, I will miss it.  Christmas will come and go, only to return with another year.  Therefore, I don my Christmas best, attend a candlelight service, sing Silent Night with eyes closed, and attempt to muster the “feeling” of Christmas.  I want to be moved.  And sadly, I have hurried through this sacred season only to reduce the celebration of Christ’s birth to a feeling.  A feeling that is about me: making my vision of Christmas manifest, making my holiday season complete.

This Christmas Eve, whether you have rushed through the hustle and bustle or have taken the time to absorb the gravity of Christ’s Incarnation, I pray we can all pause and simply embrace the new song He brings.  Thankfully, Jesus is bigger than evoking a mood or conjuring that “Christmas feeling.”   Instead, He wants to evoke the reality of His coming and etch its worth upon your heart… The reality that He came as He did, as a weak, vulnerable child so that we may be strong.  And the reality that He will come again, enabling us to live with hope despite the brokenness and pain we face.  

By rejoicing and celebrating His coming in spite of life’s ups and downs, we proclaim His song of redemption is ultimate, His song conquers, His song remains.  This is our offering in the face of His love.  We were in darkness, but we have truly seen His great light.  Experience this Christmas Eve that, indeed, all is calm, all is bright. 

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!

"Sing to the Lord a new song;
    sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
    proclaim his salvation day after day."
-Psalm 96:1-2

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