Lo, in the silent night
A child to God is born
And all is brought again
That ere was lost or lorn
Could but thy soul, O man,
Become a silent night!
God would be born in thee
And set all things aright.
The time of Advent has happily snuck up on me! It could not have come at a better time. I am tired of walking on eggshells and waiting for the other shoe to drop. These last two years have taught me more than I would like about loss, fear of tomorrow, and the fragility of my existence. Cue the angels, the Christmas star and the swaddled babe born in a manger. Let heaven break through.
It is compelling that the Christmas Story begins the very moment Mary said, “Yes” to God. We are not privy to Mary’s past; all her roads that led to that watershed moment. What a relief for all of us! God lives not in the past, but in the present moment with each of us. It does not matter what came before, only what comes next. Mary’s story was one of supernatural importance as she trusted all that she was, all that she loved, her today and tomorrow to God and His plan for her life. Not in her wildest imagination could she have known the impact of her yes. Mary took a leap and life took a turn for the wondrous.
The Advent hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is our rallying call. Be bold this Christmas and ask God to birth something new in your life. Make room in your “inn” for God to work another miracle.
It’s time to leave the wilderness and enter the province of joy. Has the Pandemic left you as dry as the Sahara Desert? Pray for a cleansing rain and a tiny mustard seed of hope to take root in you this Christmas. Maybe life has disappointed you, either in your relationships, your dreams or your faith. Pray that God would open a new, creative chapter; one filled with fresh characters, arcs of hope, and a finale of redemption. Are you so tightly wound, frenetic, stressed that joy is impossible? Pray for God’s peace to smooth your edges and set you free! Are you overwhelmed by loss and the burden of grief? Pray for joy to return in the morning. Maybe you or I have allowed our egos to make a mess of what was meant to be sacred. Like the Prodigal, let us brave a return home to God and our best self. Turn over the reins and confess, “Thy will be done.” Maybe we just want to be seen, heard, valued—loved. Pray God would put people in our lives who are invested in the best for us. Maybe you and I are ready, like Mary, for God to use our lives for a greater purpose. With a brave heart, pray the words: “Here I am! Let it be according to your word (Luke 1:38).”
Welcome to Christmas!
Did you clock out?
Are you napping?
Have you finally thrown your hands up, the world is just too lost and broken?
I’m still here; in the wilderness; waiting for You—
it makes me squirm.
If there was ever a time for Your angels to rush in.
What about a burning bush? A dove-breakthrough? A grasp of The Hem?
A Christmas supernova?
I need to feel More—
Even, if it scorches me awake
Send a mistral into these dry, dusty bones.
Worthy work—I am an archeologist digging for faith.
I will open the stable door.
I will dust the ‘Welcome Mat’ of cobwebs
I will pull the screens off every window,
and chimney-sweep my hearth
for Your Spirit to find a way in—
Can You stay for a while?
I prayed for a miracle
but the miracle has not come.
Sometimes I catch a shimmer of You out the corner of my eye
Why can it not be all Light, all the time?
Why must we hurt beneath Heaven’s rim?
I am determined to connect Your sacred dots,
before my Hourglass is up.
It’s a black hole without You, as I have learned.
And my nickname is “Sunshine.”
I will press on.
Love is too good to turn my back.
I am going to love who and what is right in front of me
That is when You show up.
Remember what You promised me:
Hope will not disappoint.
And God, I don’t say it enough—I love you.
A grateful Amen.