Merry Christmas, my friends! I hope this note finds you well.
It's chemo week which means I have spent most of it in hibernation. Not exactly how I would have pictured ringing in the most beautiful time of the year with my one year old. But as I spent tonight wallowing over the thought, I was reminded of another humble Christmas...
One in which, a small babe was quietly ushered onto the Earth, forsaking His glory to become flesh. Taking on all human frailty, vulnerability and suffering. Trading his divine right for a short life of sacrificial servitude.
I am trying to imagine how Mary felt that first Christmas, surrounded by all of the animals, having no choice but to give birth out in a stable. The rest of the world truly could not have had much of an idea, and yet, in the darkness, a flame appeared. Hope had come and the weary world would soon have reason to rejoice.
I've been reading lately in the books of Kings and Chronicles of how the Israelites over and over again abandoned their covenant with God and were given chance after chance until God, a heart broken father, had to hand them over to the natural consequences of their decisions- a life in exile, their sacred temple torn to shambles. Can you imagine trying for so many years to bring a family member back only to watch them reject you again and again and everything you had built together, lying in pieces? I fear people like to portray an overbearing, angry, vengeful God in this scenario, but I can't help but seeing a God full of sorrow as He takes in all of the aftermath.
But it didn't stop there. It never does. All throughout the Bible we see a God who is ready to woo His people back to Him. Making a way for wholeness, goodness, redemption. Evil never has, and never will, have the last word. He always has a plan, and because He is God, it will prevail.
"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned...Every warrior's boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. 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. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end." -Isaiah 9:2, 5-7
If, my friend, you find yourself looking around this Christmas Day, nervously, maybe even fearfully, asking "is this it?!" I can assure you, it is not. Although He may sound silent, seem distant, He is always moving and working for the good of those who love Him. That is a promise we can always carry with us!