Hear my petition.
Please hear what I cannot say—what I don’t know how to say. I long for your presence tonight—like a young infant seeks his mama’s face. Tonight I want to see you. I am cold, hungry and insecure.
Tonight we move closer to the day we celebrate your arrival. I am thankful that Jesus came. I am even more thankful that he came and went and promised not to leave us orphans.
No, you knew who we would need. You sent the Holy Spirit to move among us—to live in us, to abide in us so that we might have life. We just don’t understand. We really don’t fathom the depths of this event we call Christmas. We think we do, sometimes we talk as if do, occasionally we live like we do. Christmas is still a mystery. It is still veiled in the mystery of a God who cared enough to enter into life with us.
The means by which you accomplished my salvation, the salvation of all people, still floors me. I consider how you managed this redemption and I just don’t quite comprehend why you would want to redeem me.
My feet are made of clay. I am weak. I am sometimes ugly. Often I speak before I listen. Frequently I ignore all the warning signs that declare to me that I am making a poor choice. I neglect to read the sign posts you have left for me. I miss turns in the road. I sin both willfully and inadvertently. And my heart can be wicked and deceitful (and this one scares me most of all). I dream dreams that do not align with who you are. I long for things that will not pull your kingdom forward. My hands reach for the wrong things. I might have to argue with your Paul—I feel like the chief of sinners. My heart is bent—it seems to me beyond repair.
But as Steve wrote yesterday this beyond- repair- thought is only my perception. It is NOT the truth.
The truth is that you come to me just as I am. You come to me in the filth and ugliness of me. You come to me in the goodness and right of me—though there is little. Even now in the midst of pain and fragility and anger and fear and deceit you come to me—in a way I understand.
I think of holding my Elijah-boy (his Poppy calls him King David) and my Little Lion Man and the purity I see in them. There is a holiness that halos their little faces because they are yet untainted by sin and failures. Their Noni struggles and longs to be like them.
I believe this is why you sent Jesus as a baby. There is no rank cynicism in a baby. There is not yet mean deceit. There is not yet intentional manipulation. There is no hidden agenda. There is no cold hate. And when I hold my boys, you help me to remember.
To remember that Jesus who was a baby said to be like little children.
Teach me once again what it means to be a little child. Show me how to allow you to make my heart like Elijah and Judah’s. Let this Noni learn from her grandsons.
Thank you for sending a baby. Thank you for choosing the weak and frail to carry out your plan. That means there is hope for me. You will use me. You will empower me to bless the tiny world in which I live—just as Elijah and Judah bless theirs.
Just as Jesus blessed his.
Amen and amen.
|Elijah and Judah|