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

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…

comedic timing

One of my favourite jokes goes like this:
Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Interrupting cow
Interrupting cow w---
Moooooooo!!

Timing is important in both drama and comedy. A well-paced story draws the audience in and helps it invest in the characters, while a tale too hastily told or too long drawn out will fail to engage anyone. Surprise - something which interrupts the expected - is a creative use of timing and integral to any good story. If someone is reading a novel and everything unfolds in a predictable manner, they will probably wonder why they bothered reading the book. And so it is in life. Having life be predictable all of the time is not as calming as it sounds. We love surprises, especially good surprises like birthday parties, gifts, marriage proposals, and finding something that we thought was lost. Surprises are an important part of humour. A good joke is funny because it goes to a place you didn't expect it to go. Similarly, comedic timing allows something unexpected …

singing lessons

When I was a young child, a visiting preacher came to our country church. He brought his two daughters with him, and before he gave his sermon, they sang beautiful duets about Jesus. They had lovely voices which blended well. The preacher, meaning to impress on us their God-given musical talent, mentioned that the girls had never had any singing lessons. The congregation nodded and ooohhed in appreciation. I was puzzled. I didn't understand how not learning was a point of grace or even pride. After all, people who have natural abilities in sports, math, writing, art, or science find it extremely helpful to study under teachers who can aid them in their development and introduce them to things outside their own experience. Being self-taught (though sometimes the only option available to those with limited resources) is not a cause for pride or celebration. Why? Because that's just not how the communal, relational Creator set things up.

I have been singing since I was a child. …