Weekly Reflection (NEW!)
Hello Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
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Please read John 1:1-18 in your Bible.
Some years ago I was at the beach. It was a beautiful day. The sun shone warm in the crystal blue sky. I waded out into the cold Atlantic waters and decided to swim. I dove in and began a freestyle stroke. I could sense that I was not moving. Suddenly a stubborn or macho streak (I'm not sure which.) broke forth in me, I began beating the water with my arms and legs fighting for all I was worth against the current that beat me back. I still was not moving, and in fact I was being swept out to sea. I admitted my defeat and stood up. Exhausted and wiser, I waded back to shore.
The all out attack is underway. The onslaught meant to push up and up and over the top is the Christmas Shopping Season or the Sparkle Season if the word "Christmas" offends. It is the tide of consumerism. It is the final push in hopes that we have a "good" year. If only people spend enough, buy enough, and go in debt enough, then the gods of economy will smile upon us. This tide is strong and fast.
You cannot fight against this tide. It will sweep you along, but you can put your feet down and wade back to the shore where God's love in the person of Christ who reigns and who comes as the babe in the manger waits for you. Christmas is not about the economy, the sparkle, the stuff, or even a cute baby with animals around.
Christmas is about what you read in John chapter 1: the Word became flesh and lived among us. God came as one of us to be with us. God took on the human condition of sin, sorrow, and death that we would be saved from it. Christmas is about God's love so strong and faithful that God in Christ came to us, told us of that love, died for that love, lives again for that love; so that we will never be separated from that love. God assures us that it will be okay. Wade back to the shore out of the empty promises of consumerism's current into the safety, grace, and love of God's promise.
Pray that as you journey through Advent that your hearts would be prepared to receive the Christ Child with all the grace, love, and tenderness that Christmas brings.