The Coming of Grace: Christmas Day

We have come to the end of our Advent series The Coming of Grace.  During this season we have shared with you the sights and sounds of the Advent season.  We hope you have enjoyed the pictures, music, words and thoughts of Advent. Today we celebrate the final day of this series, Christmas Day.

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Reflect on this image...

                         What comes to mind?

Scripture: Isaiah 9: 2-7

2The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined. 3 You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder.

4 For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. 5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. 6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Devotional by Pastor Alicia Dixon-Garrard “The Gift of Waiting”

I’m not always a fan of waiting. I’m not impatient. I just don’t like wasting time. So I’m the one who always has a book ready if I find myself stuck in the doctor’s office. Whenever waiting I’d occupy my time with a book, or checking my planner, or checking my phone, or making a to do list. I just didn’t want to feel like I wasn’t being productive. Interestingly the title of this week’s art is “God Couldn’t Wait.” But that title actually is not as straightforward as it seems. It has nuanced meaning.

What was God waiting for? Does God get impatient? Why couldn’t God wait?

Perhaps it is not about impatience or anxiety, on God’s part, but, anticipation that the title is pointing to. Anticipation and great expectation. God couldn’t wait to participate in this amazing experiment called incarnation. A period of time in which divinity would dwell within human flesh. A season in which Godself would walk among us.

I think God was giddy with anticipation of what it would mean to see us face to face again. I think God had great expectations of the impact Jesus’ coming would have upon us. Would we accept Jesus? Would we recognize God? Would we understand what Jesus was here to accomplish?

Whatever our response to Jesus, God chose to wrap up hope, peace, joy and love in the bundle of Jesus on Christmas day.

I’ve learned to be more patient over time. What I’ve learned to do is not to see the moments I’m stuck waiting as inconveniences or unproductive. But instead, I take them as opportunities to think upon the love of God more deeply. Times of waiting can be times of celebration of the little joys and hopes we encounter each day. Things we’d miss without these times of pause.

Rather than waiting being an annoyance or anxiety provoking, it can be an invitation to peacefully ponder the presence of Jesus in this world and the meaning of the Incarnation in our lives.