Christmas is a joyous time. It’s a celebration of the very incarnation of God. As we gather around family and friends and nourish ourselves with community, worship and hearts of gratitude we are reminded that beauty, love, kindness, mercy and grace are gifts from the God of all gods, Lord of all Lords and King of all kings!
But, Christmas doesn’t mean that life suddenly changes and the dark, heavy parts of our hearts suddenly get better. The work of redemption is lengthy, bloody and filled with tears. Christmas doesn’t mean that we stop hurting and crying out to God to change us or our circumstances. Christmas, remember, results in Calvary and therefore as we reflect on the beauty of the incarnation let us not pretend that we aren’t in desperate need for redemption from sin, reconciliation to God and restoration from brokenness.
A prayer, a reminder that we who have trusted in Christ are servants of The King. We thirst, we long for God’s face, we desperately need intimacy with our Creator. Let the morning bring your unfailing love…
Lord, hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
come to my relief.
Do not bring your servant into judgment,
for no one living is righteous before you.
The enemy pursues me,
he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in the darkness
like those long dead.
So my spirit grows faint within me;
my heart within me is dismayed.
I remember the days of long ago;
I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done.
I spread out my hands to you;
I thirst for you like a parched land.
Answer me quickly, Lord;
my spirit fails.
Do not hide you face from me
or I will be like those who go down
to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of your
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
for I hide myself in you.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.
For your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my
in your righteousness, bring me out of
In your unfailing love, silence my
destroy all my foes,
for I am your servant.
Joy is born from grief and peace is brought from turmoil and violence. The One who was born, bore our sin and suffering. The One who suffered at the hand of his enemies and faced the abandonment of God did so that we, who put our trust in him, might know joy and peace; a release from the hand of our enemies. In the place of abandonment we are welcomed into the eternal promise of “I will be your God, and you will be my people.”
And I heard a loud voce coming from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”