Sunday, December 11, 2011

Reflecting on Christmas

My email devotional from the Upper Room today spoke on how we may need to have ‘spiritual glasses, or vision remedies’ that are specifically designed to help us see the star and the angels… in the hills over Bethlehem this Advent season.  Instead, we often see fuzzy images of sugarplums and reindeer and Santa and snowmen and gifts—and maybe, just maybe we might catch a glimpse of the child in the manger. It’s difficult to see any details outside the limited realm of our personal comfort levels. (From In My Heart I Carry a Star: Stories for Advent by Derek Maul.)

Do we see the advent of Christ in this world as a means to bring God’s message of reconciliation and love to our brothers and sisters?  Or do we see it as just another way to pad our comfort and reward ourselves with layer upon layer of material blessing?  And worse, perhaps we spend the next year paying off those material blessings…

We live in a great big world full of desperation, people, war, plenty, hunger,  joy, pain, and even hope sometimes — if only we have the eyes to see… And then, only when those eyes have been spiritually opened by the transforming power of the Christ, the lowly child in the manger.

When our eyes are opened and we have clear vision we run the risk of grasping something of the pain, the tragedy, the truth, and the crying needs of those with whom we come into contact with on a daily basis. These realities ultimately define all people who have not witnessed — or allowed themselves to respond to the sign that has been given by the star and the angels.

My Prayer
This Advent, God, I ask that You shine through my life.  Light my often pale and drab spirit with Your love.  Help me to give without reservation and remove my fear.  Thank You for the confidence that You bring. ~Amen.

Can you identify one activity that, upon reflection, you might consider a distraction from the true meaning of this season?

Psalm 126:6, NRSV

Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.


1 comment:

  1. Oh, so many of our family traditions at this Season are a BIG distraction from the True meaning of Christmas. We have scaled back a lot, but each year I try to scale back more and more on the commercialization of Christmas and on the 'entertaining' and all that it entails.
    I love family/friend gatherings, but I notice that so many times my focus is on that rather than on the true Spirit of this Holy Season.
    Beautiful post.
    Love and Prayers,


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