Skip to main content

Oh, Look!

Every Christmas, I ask God for a focus point, a theme...something that makes the season and the story of Jesus come alive for me once more. The problem with traditions, at least for me, is that I get bored with them. I have heard the story before, the songs are oh so familiar, I know what happens in the end, and though the truth can be amazingly profound, I loose my sense of wonder all too easily when there is repitition involved. So I ask the One who is never short on fresh ideas to show me a new angle, another dimension of truth, a divine revelation of the neverending depth of Love personified.

And this year, I was struck with the necessity of looking. Those shepherds would never have found the One who changed the course of their lives if they had not abandoned their work and went on a midnight treasure hunt. Wise men spent years poring over writings and watching the skies, and when all the signs lined up, they packed their bags and started on a lengthy journey to another part of the world, searching for someone they were sure was a King of the highest order.

Jesus is not always easy to find. You have to be looking, searching, wanting, longing, hungry for something of eternal worth. He does not parade His greatness or flaunt his authority. He waits to be recognized, and sometimes even hides himself for reasons I cannot fully understand. He appeared in unlikely places, in obscure locations, in situations where no one expected to find him. But those who were determined to find him, always did. Those who were content with the status quo, often busy with their systematic beliefs and traditions, all too often overlooked the beauty, mystery and simplicity walking right in front of them.

So this Christmas, I am choosing to bypass the obvious and instead, turn over a few rocks, pull back a curtain or two, and perhaps even gaze into the face of a stranger. What will I find?

"When you come looking for me, you'll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed." God's Decree from Jeremiah 29 (the Message)

Comments

Doug Floyd said…
I'm glad I looked here today. Lord help me to have eyes the can see you and a heart that will search for you.
Lynn said…
You continually teach me! I love the way you think.
Anna Carol said…
you have a way with words.
i was wondering if i could use the third to last paragraph on my blog, i would put up a link to your blog and let them know you wrote it.

it was this:Jesus is not always easy to find. You have to be looking, searching, wanting, longing, hungry for something of eternal worth ...........and all inbetween...............overlooked the beauty, mystery and simplicity walking right in front of them.

i like that paragraph.
and i'm gonna keep coming to your blog
i could always use more spiritual input in my life.

Popular posts from this blog

what does the cross mean?

Words which we use a lot can sometimes become divested of their depth of meaning. In the Christian tradition, we talk about the cross a lot. We see visual representations of the cross in prominent places in our gathering spaces, we wear crosses around our necks, some get crosses tattooed on their bodies. The cross is a ubiquitous symbol in Christianity, so lately I have been asking myself, what exactly does the cross mean? For the most part, the cross as portrayed in contemporary Christianity is a beautiful thing, festooned with flowers and sunsets and radiant beams of light (just google cross or cross coloring page). But in the first century, the cross was a symbol of disgrace. To the Roman empire, this ignoble instrument of death was for those who were traitors and enemies of the state. We are many centuries removed from this view of the cross as the locus of torture and death and shame. The fact that Christianity has made the cross a symbol of hope and beauty is a good thing, but p…

stained and broken

Recently, I was asked to speak at another church, and the passage of Scripture which was assigned to me was John 1:6-8. "There came a man commissioned and sent from God, whose name was John. This man came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe [in Christ, the Light] through him. John was not the Light, but came to testify about the Light." (John 1:6-8, Amplified Bible)

The first question I usually ask when reading something in the Bible is this: What does this tell me about God? Two things are immediately obvious - God is a sending God and God wants to communicate - but there is a third which merits a bit more attention. Though God could communicate directly with humanity, sending truth and love to every individual via some divine mind-and-heart-meld, God chooses to send messengers. Not only that, instead of introducing Jesus directly to the world as the main event, an opening, warm-up act appears as a precursor. What is the point of incorporati…

the songs we sing

NOTE: I am going to make some pretty strong statements below, but understand that it is my way of taking an honest, hard look at my own worship experience and practice. My desire is not to be overly critical, but to open up dialogue by questioning things I have assumed were totally fine and appropriate. In other words, I am preaching to myself. Feel free to listen in.

---------------------

When I am in a church meeting during the singing time, I sometimes find myself silent, unable to get the words past my lips. At times I just need a moment of stillness, time to listen, but other times, the words make me pause because I don't know that I can sing them honestly or with integrity. This is a good thing. We should never mindlessly or heartlessly sing songs just because everyone else is. We should care deeply about what we say in our sung, communal worship.

At their best, songs sung by the gathered body of Christ call to life what is already in us: the hope, the truth, the longing, t…