Wednesday, December 23 2020
As I mentioned in one of my recent sermons, when my girls (and I) were much younger, I coached their basketball teams. Now when I coached, I could do that in a number of ways: I could draw on a whiteboard and diagram plays for them to run. I could talk to them. I could devise drills for them to practice what I wanted them to learn. In practice, we would take time to scrimmage. We would let them play simulation games so they could try out what they had learned in a game situation.
But one of the ways I tried to teach is that I actually spent some of the time scrimmaging with them. The other coach and I would get in the game on opposite teams and we would work with the girls. When they did this, it allowed them to play in a game situation with someone who knew how to play the game better than they did. So, we would make passes that they couldn't really conceive of on their own. We directed them and I told them where to go to get an open shot. Our presence made them better players by showing them how to play the game. They saw us make a good pass, steal the ball, set a screen, or shoot a lay-up, and they could learn how to do the same thing.
I think that is what God has done in history when Jesus came into our world. Maybe we could think of Jesus as the ultimate "player-coach" - someone who is on the court with us in the game of life, showing us how it is done. So, we read the stories not only of Jesus' birth, but of his life. We read what he said. We see what it means to love God and love our neighbor as we love ourselves. This Advent and Christmas, I invite you to give thanks for Jesus - sent by God to show us how to live and love God's way!
Prayer for Today
Thank you, God, for sending Jesus into our world. May we follow the example he set for us - showing us how to love God, our neighbor, and even ourselves! Amen.