Staggering Love and Simple Faith

Luke 6:20 “And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”

Child of the Poor, What Child Is This?  https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=child+of+the+poor+what+child+is+this

Reflection:  Christmas Eve always meant attending the candlelight service at church.  My sister and I both had very long hair, so inevitably in the lighting of the candles, one to the next, we somehow managed to singe one or both of our hair.  It became a tradition, much to my mother’s dismay and our earnest attempts to prevent it.  Once she had given us the look, though, we would bubble into quiet giggles, and more than once, singe some more hair.  My memories of my younger sister at midnight services are encapsulated in childhood.  She was eight when she died.  I have attended more than 45 Christmas Eve services since the last time my hair was singed, but it is almost always my first thought when we walk into Christmas Eve services.  Our sister connection was magical, like the night.  Christmas always brings its sweet memories, some more heartcatching than others.  It is a time we pull family close and miss those no longer here the most.  Honoring those sad filled emotions, on a night filled with joyful hallelujahs and jubilant bells, can feel out of place.  Once you step over that place of awkwardness, everything is as it should be.  God knows what you carry around in you and it’s okay with him if you are sending parts of your heart heavenward as you celebrate the birth of his Son.  And really, that’s all that matters.

Action:  Today, gather yourselves together in a family moment that will last long after the presents fade from memory.  Featured image   Around the breakfast or dinner table, or in the car to relative’s homes, talk about the family traditions of your childhoods and ask your children which traditions they enjoy the most.  Tell stories of Christmases past and people no longer with you.     Show your children and other family know its okay to acknowledge that there may be sadness in the midst of joy.  Life is like that, messy and filled with emotions.  Think of the manger again and how messy it was and how filled with emotion.  God did that.

Dear God, In this holiest of nights, where candles will be lit and homes will be filled with family and friends, help us find a quiet moment with you.  Take us to that night, in a stable dark and smelly, where Jesus entered this world as a gift to salvation.  Let us know him, for that instant, as Mary and Joseph’s baby, that sweet gentle moment before he was claimed by the world.  Just Mary and Joseph and Jesus, a family of staggering love and simple faith.  Let us weep for the joy of a first born child, who in that humble beginning brought light to us all.  With messy and joyful hearts, Amen.

To read the entire devotion for today, go to:http://easter.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2014-Advent-Devotional.pdf

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