Sunday, December 17, 2006

Are you ready for Christmas?

As a bank teller, these last couple weeks I have been asked this question about 30-40 times a day. And I have yet to respond with any kind of confident answer. Frankly, I don't really know what people mean when they ask me this. I know it's a great opener to start conversation, but I'm not too big a fan of talking just to talk. I think I know what most people mean. They mean have you done all your Christmas shopping, or are you ready for the vacation days, or are you ready to get a bunch of stuff. Which, if that's really what they're asking, then no. That part of Christmas, the anxiety of shopping, of being caught up in the consumerism of America with Santa Clause and shiny new Lexuses, I really dislike.

But, if these people are asking me if I am ready to recall and celebrate the wonder of God entering the world on my behalf, then yes, I am very ready. But these last few weeks especially have been so full of the "holiday" vibe , that I have not adequately been able to do this. But to think on the thought (as Matt so skillfully pointed out this morning) that "though He was rich, yet for [our] sake He became poor, so that [we] by His poverty might become rich," is so liberating. It liberates me from being unloving, prideful, angry, jealous, bitter, despairing, and self-centered. All of which have filled the space these last few weeks where I haven't been blown away by the mystery of the gospel, God's loving me and choosing of me to be a co-heir with Christ as His son when I have done everything to prove that I deserve the complete opposite.

This Christmas, I pray that my and your heart would beat with the hymn "O come. O come Emmanuel" as we mourn in lonely exile here until the Son of God appears again.

Also, consider this Puritan prayer written 3 centuries ago to better understand what the incarnation means for us:
Christ was all anguish that I might be all joy,
cast off that I might be brought in,
trodden down as an enemy that I might be welcomed as a friend,
surrendered to hell's worst that I might attain heaven's best,
stripped that I might be clothed,
wounded that I might be healed,
athirst that I might drink,
tormented that I might be comforted,
made a shame that I might inheirt glory,
entered darkness that I might have eternal light

- "Valley of Vision", Love Lustres at Calvary

1 comment:

  1. David! Long time no see. I have wondered how you were doing since we last hung out. I am definately in Norcross a while and would love to hang out when you get a chance. I usually get out of work around 4:30 but give me a call first chance you get and well work something out. # 706-224-7818.