December 27, 2011


The shower is a great thinking space, is it not?

After reading in Boice's The Christ of Christmas about the men who didn't miss Christmas - the shepherds and the wise men - I hopped in the shower to get cleaned up before the kids' tv-time was yesterday morning.  My thoughts were still on Boice's words about those men coming, from their very different backgrounds, to worship the King that was born in the manger.  The Lord had invited them to come, and they did, bowing their knees and hearts before the One that God had sent.  Then, after the account ends in the gospels, we never hear of them again.

I wonder how the encounter influenced the rest of their lives?

*     *     *

Perhaps, like me, you spent time with extended family this weekend in familiar places from years gone by: a childhood home or hometown, the place you moved when you were a teenager, the home where your children grew up.

As I showered in the bathroom that I used from age 14 through college, my heart was taken up into worship as I considered the remarkable ways that God has guided and directed my path and the paths of my family members to bring us where we are today.  We're a loud, opinionated, rambunctious bunch, too easily annoyed with one another and not all politically aligned.  But we do still love being together enjoying traditions and sharing hilarious stories of the past and present over large meals and noisy children.  My parents gave us a good foundation and great opportunities & experiences growing up (thanks!) and I think my siblings are two really cool human beings.  This bunch is pretty remarkable too:

The Next Generation!
When I think back, I remember how I made all kinds of poor decisions growing up that could have had a number of different results.  What hit me in the shower was just how good God was to protect me, carry me through, forgive my sin, give me second, third, forth chances, and (even more amazing) fill my life with blessings well beyond what I deserve.  What grace!  I'm sure each of my family members can testify to the work of that grace in their lives, as well.

Too often I lean toward being consumed by shame.  Yesterday, I was reminded that there is now no condemnation.  The Spirit lives in me, the law is no longer my master; shame, you have no place here because Jesus paid for my sin and gave me His righteousness!

At a time of year when we look back in reflection and forward with resolve, how can we worship the Lord for His work in our lives?  How can we seek Him as we look ahead to the new year?  How can we invite others, as God invited the shepherds and wise men (and us!), to take a look at His redemption plan and consider joining in the worship?

God, we are in awe at the forgiveness of sins and the extent to which you went to allow us to enter into your family as Your children.  Jesus, you took on flesh and you hung, cursed, on a tree.  Then you rose!  Spirit, continue to rescue us from cowering before shame because You now live in our hearts. Remind us as we leave Christmas, start a new year, and work our way toward Easter, of your full and complete redemption of our souls and cause our eyes to see how deeply and widely you have loved us.  Open our lips to tell the old, old story, of Jesus and His love that we may see your kingdom come in new hearts in 2012.  Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment