There are always so many things happening this time of year. We are often quick to fill up much needed rest away from work with concerts, cooking, shopping and parties. It’s easy to get swept away with the tidal wave of consumerism and sales. As a child I loved how everything changed at Christmas time. Everything seems decorated and cheerful while festive music and familiar scents hung in the air. Now, as I have grown, I realize that Christmas is actually a wonderful opportunity to quiet ourselves, slow down and narrow our focus. The real message laid before us this season is one of incarnation—the ways that the Spirit of God breaks into our time and space. A message that is more than a mere memorial to a story over 2,000 years old. The incarnation of God has been evident over and over again… a burning bush, pillar of fire, a whirlwind, but nowhere is the love and grace of God more perfect and relatable than in the person of Jesus the Christ.
The real joy of this message of incarnation is that God doesn’t sit in some distant and remote place waiting to be found. God comes to us, seeking us out like a shepherd guarding his flock or a father running to meet his beloved child on a road. Even when we reject Him, He comes. Or, as a friend said in a recent sermon, even when we refuse God any room in our inn, Jesus is among us. It doesn’t matter whether you believe it took place in a stable or a cave, in the Winter or the Spring, Jesus comes. He comes in unconventional ways, revealing himself first to those who are open and responsive. The shepherds and the Magi reacted to their individual experience by going to the place where Jesus lay. That is precisely the dynamic that incarnation always creates, revelation and then a call to respond.
My heart is delighted when I reflect on the many ways in which God breaks into my life. I pray that I may continually encounter God in this World and in His people. And, every time that prayer is answered it deepens my faith and calls me to respond… to get up and move, like the shepherds and Magi. It is now Christmas and Christ is now among us. How will you respond?