Christmas Greetings (December 2009)

Josh and I aren’t sending out Christmas cards this year. But I do want to say thank you to all you wonderful people who read this blog. I am grateful for you. Josh and I love your comments. Thank you for being a witness to our life. So many people tell me that they don’t know what to say, that they don’t know how to help us. I understand! But I have realized over these last months that what we need the most are friends who are willing to “go there.” Friends who will be witnesses to God’s work in our lives: not interpreting God’s work, but graciously witnessing it, acknowledging its heartbreak, its pain, its darkness and, somehow, still believing on our behalf. This is a precious gift.

My head is full of half-baked ideas these Advent days. I think of Jesus, the God-man, lying helpless, being cared for by his mother, and I wonder if He knew yet all the sorrow that awaited Him. When did it come? That moment of realization that He was headed toward the Cross. Did it wash over Him suddenly one day in all its stark horror, or did it come on gradually as He matured? And did He ever wonder if He would be able to continue faithful?

Josh quoted Robert Browning in a recent sermon. “Faith is perpetual unbelief kept quiet.” He was preaching on Christian courage as faith, pure and simple. Recently I remembered Jesus’ illustration of the mustard seed and I felt the truth of it keenly. That’s all I have! A mustard seed faith – and there are powerful forces of fear and unbelief that threaten to consume it. God is mighty to save. He can do great things with my mustard seed. I am grateful for Christmas and the reminder that Jesus is Emmanuel, “God with us.”

That glorious Form, that Light unsufferable and that far-beaming blaze of Majesty, Wherewith He wont at Heaven’s high counsel-table, To sit the midst of Trinal Unity. He laid aside; and here with us to be, Forsook the courts of Everlasting Day, And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay.

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