Yesterday it was grey and rainy around Johns Creek. The day before, Pam and I had traveled up to Pennsylvania to hear our daughter Maggie's last Christmas Vespers Concert in the Packer Memorial Chapel at Lehigh University in Bethlehem. (We could not help but repeat our little joke that we were journeying to Bethlehem this Christmas!) I have never heard the concert before and it was amazing to hear the sounds of the choirs echoing around the cathedral dome.
Because Bethlehem is farther north, it gets darker sooner than here. The weather was colder up there with some snow still on the ground from the day before. And yet there is something about that kind of weather that makes me want to go inward. Maybe it is simply the cold and the desire to pull my coat up around my neck. Or maybe it is the weather that makes me want to be more reflective about life. While a brisk walk in that kind of weather may feel invigorating as the cold air fills your lungs, in the long run you just get cold, so I try to turn off my senses to the ever-increasing cold around me.
But, that just drives me inside where I think about things - life, the change in seasons, the meaning of Advent and Christmas. It is when I think about those things that I feel a sense of wonder about the amazing fact of Christmas: God came into the world in human form - the form of a little baby born two thousand years ago in a little town called Bethlehem. God thought it was important and necessary to come to us in the flesh - to be one of us. It makes we want to ask a question like "Why did God choose to do it this way?" There are many answers that have been given, but whatever the reason, God did not stand at a distance and send messages to us. God came in human form - God wanted to be with us!
As you wait for Christmas, remember that God is with you!
"The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" (which means "God with us").
-Matthew 1:23, NIV
Prayer for Today
Thank you, God, for coming as "one of us." When we feel alone, tired, or even reflective - help us to sense your presence with us. We pray this in the strong name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.