Monday, December 26, 2011

Small Signs of God - First Light

" Jesus spoke to them, saying: I am the light of the world: he that followeth me, walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12)

And today, peace is still here. I can see small signs of God the day after Christmas. Why? Because I am looking and will continue to look as the first rays of light appear through the winter trees. I reflect on a day of service and silence, quiet and gratitude, peace and plenty. It's true. Christmas is believing  that God makes all things right, not me. What a Christmas gift. The birds confirm this thought as they wake and discover the same truth with me. We worship a God of order who makes all things right in a broken world. I play such a small part.
The toy just seemed so exciting and perfect choice for energetic nephews. But it simply did not work. Faulty in construction it was returned to the store before Christmas day and another toy quickly made the substitution. I wonder when Jesus will become the perfect gift and cheap substitutions will no longer vie for first place. I wonder how many small signs I can continue to spot along my journey in a world of broken toys to help me never allow a substitution for the Son of the Most High.

"It is not over,
this birthing.
There are always newer skies
into which
God can throw stars.
When we begin to think
that we can predict the Advent of God,
That we can box the Christ
in a stable in Bethlehem,
that's just the time that God will be born
in a place we can't imagine and won't believe.
Those who wait for God
watch with  their hearts and not their eyes,
listening, always listening for angel words."
(Ann Weems, Kneeling in Bethlehem)

Small Signs of God - A Child's Birth

"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord." (Luke 2:11)

The powerful silence of Christmas morning says "Peace, I am here." I smile and rest in that knowledge. Somehow, the world rests as well. Even as the day comes alive, people are kinder, quieter with the knowledge that today something is different. I feel it. Maybe because I believe it. I believe that peace begins with me. I believe angels sing and stars dance. I believe in Wise Men and a virgin birth. I believe Jesus is the coming of God to earth. Today is Christmas and I welcome it and I reread the story:
"This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.  But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus." (Matthew 1:18-25)
"Christmas is saying 'yes' to something beyond all emotions and feelings. Christmas is saying "yes" to a hope based on God's initiative, which has nothing to do with what I think or feel. Christmas is believing that the salvation of the world is God's work and not mine. Things will never look just right or feel just right. If they did, someone would be lying...But it is into this broken world that a child is born who is called Son of the Most High, Prince of Peace, Savior."(Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak)

Savior who has been born to us,
              draw us to you this day and all days
                  until we see you face to face.