“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.” (Matthew 5:7, The Message)
My grandparents have always been formative to my faith. They would take in and care for sick friends, family, or church members. Meals would be prepared and made before being taken to someone who just got home from the hospital. They would regularly visit neighbors who were homebound. And it was no surprise to anyone when they invited someone who was not able to be with their family at Christmas to our family Christmas breakfast. And the list could easily go on.
They have always been full of care for others.
“I am the Lord, and I do not change; and you, children of Jacob, have not perished.” (Malachi 3:6, Common English Bible)
From Dietrich Bonhoeffer‘s “The Coming of Jesus in Our Midst”:
We have become so accustomed to the idea of divine love and of God’s coming at Christmas that we no longer feel the shiver of fear that God’s coming should arouse in us. We are indifferent to the message, taking only the pleasant and agreeable out of it and forgetting the serious aspect, that the God of the world draws near to the people of our little earth and lays claim to us.
God does not change.
“The angel said, ‘Don’t be afraid! Look! I bring good news to you – wonderful, joyous news for all people. Your savior is born today in David’s city. He is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11, Common English Bible)
The waiting is over. The Child has been born. And we rejoice. A silent night has become a holy night. All is calm as all becomes bright with hope.
As we peek over the side of the cradle, and look at the Peace Child, we feel peace. God’s great kingdom begins with this child. And this child will have authority over that kingdom. For it is as Isaiah wrote, “Authority rests upon his shoulders.” (Isaiah 9:6)
“The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat; the calf and the young lion will feed together, and a little child will lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6, Common English Bible)
We can all remember where we were when we heard about the terrorist attacks on 9/11. For me, I was walking across campus at Randolph-Macon College. I had an early class that morning and was headed to the library. As I walked, I overheard other students talking about the attack.
I couldn’t believe it. And truthfully there was a part of me that didn’t believe it. I by-passed the library and went to my car. I turned the radio on and listened with a heavy heart to the news reports of airplanes flying into the World Trade Center buildings.
“The desert and the dry land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom like the crocus. They will burst into bloom, and rejoice with joy and singing.” (Isaiah 35:1-2a, Common English Bible) Read all of Isaiah 35 here.
When was the last time you got impatient? Was it at the store, standing in that long check-out line? Or was it sitting in traffic, wondering why the light is green and nobody is moving? Maybe it was with your children, or with your parents?
This time of year we are more prone to get impatient.
We are rushing and hurrying along to get everything in order. There are presents to be bought, ordered and wrapped. Then, there are travel plans to be made and meals to be cooked. And on top of all that, vacation time is coming so our work load increases.
And when we finally have a few moments of rest, there is someone or something that beckons our attention. And impatience sets in.
And we fuss.