My Soul gives glory to my God. My heart pours out its praise. God lifts my lowliness of heart in many marvelous ways. (Song of Mary)
The Lord be with You!
As I meditate on the Christmas story and journey through Advent, I am challenged to revisit my theology and my praxis (theology in action).
I realize again that the Christmas story is a reminder that God reveals Jesus the Messiah into a world that is broken and imperfect. Jesus was not born in the palace of Herod – but in stable for livestock. We all know the story, but are we truly living it. I find myself knocking on the inn door, refusing to accept that there is no room. I want to present Jesus to the world from a respectable place. From a place where we have funding, and no leaks in the roof, and leadership that encourages and not disappoints. A place where people long to experience Christ! And while I’m knocking at the inn, Jesus is born in the broken stable and I with the Pharisees and Sadducees am not visiting. It is only when we seek to follow God and go wherever He calls, when we say with Mary, “let it be to me as you have said” that the Christmas story becomes real for us.
Why do I seek perfection and only meet with disappointment, when the Christmas story is one of Jesus being revealed in the disappointment and bringing perfection.
I confess that I have wanted our Church to be “an INN” a respectable place for the presentation of Jesus. I confess that every time we show our brokenness as an organization and are better represented by a broken down stable, I am disappointed and doubt that Jesus can be revealed to the world through a Church that seems to be failing. Yet I realize that we, as we are, with all our challenges; are the broken-down place that God has chosen to reveal His Son to the World.
So let’s write ourselves back into the story and “treasure these things in our hearts” and welcome wise-men, and shepherds into our midst and show them that even though the world is too busy for Jesus, even though our society has no space for Jesus, even though we are being pushed further and further into obscurity – Jesus is here, Immanuel, Prince of Peace, in our midst.
Jesus was not born in the Temple Courts or the Palace of Herod but was laid in the manger. The hope of the world – enters into our weakness, our insecurity, our feebleness. The light of the world bringing life where we would least expect to find it.
May the Christmas story become a reality to you. May God find in us the “little nook” where He can break through our armor of ego and worldliness for Jesus to find a home in us, a hope in us, a place in us for God’s love to be conquer our lives and overthrow the darkness of this world.
May the love of God dwell in you richly, and may you find peace in the hope of what God is revealing to the world through the broken but willing Church of God.