For those of you that follow Advent..you know that the baby Jesus has not arrived yet.
One of the joyful elements of the Christmas Season is the more pleasant interactions we have with those we meet. There is a feeling, in the air, of excitement and expectation and renewal…that makes our steps lighter and our hearts brighter.
The Salvation Army is out at most every store and the cheering peel of the bell ringers illuminates to us…that this is a special time.
In a world of darkness…Light is coming.
We think of the homeless…we think of those who are in need…we wonder why we are so uptight…when the gift of life is burning bright in our bosoms and…really… we have much more to be thankful for than to be sorry for.
‘And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David.)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.’ Luke 2:1-7 KJV
And, so Jesus was born to this world in a nondescript and lowly manner.
We, the lonely and the homeless and the unwanted and the shunned…know that we have a place with Jesus…and that we are welcome and wanted.
There is a reason that our sorrowful and needy and suffering human family waits expectantly for the birth of he who has a place at his table for all of us!
As Pastor Janice, asked this morning in church, why does this joyful and expectant feeling end so abruptly in January?
Christ has come and the homeless and the suffering and the lonely and those who are not wanted…are still with us.
”Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, you king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ Zechariah 9:9 ESV
A week from today we will attend Christmas Eve Service. This is one of my favorite events of the entire Holiday Season.
One of the most poignant components of the special service….that causes my heart to be full of the meaning of Christmas and all that it stands for is the singing of Silent Night at the conclusion of the evening…and the flickering of the candles, that each of us are holding,..and the knowledge that our world can be better…but it is up to us to make it so.
‘And David said, ‘Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake? Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David. And the king said to him, ‘Are you Ziba?’ And he said, ‘I am your servant.’ And the king said, ‘Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?’ Ziba, said to the king, ‘there is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.’ II Samuel 9:1-3
‘And David said, ‘Mephiboseth!’ And he answered, ‘Behold I am your servant.’ And David said to him, ‘Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.”
So, we are all lame in our feet…and we have neither powerful advocate nor friend…but our gift of Christ from his lowly birth in the manger…until now…is a place for us at his table and we are welcome and we can be fed..and we can experience the joy of Christmas throughout the year.