I’m consistantly at odds during the Holiday Season from Thanksgiving through New Years. So many family birthdays in December, four of which are family members that have passed; this is Mother’s and Sister Anne’s first Birthday and Christmas in Heaven. Birth and Death celebrated in the span of a week. I’m having a hard time with this. How do I celebrate? How can I mourn during this time of celebration? Am I missing the point entirely? Or am I hitting on something You think of every Christmas, Dear Lord? There are sermons I have heard during this season that touch on this very disturbing issue.
Dear Lord, You must have been at odds the day Your Only Son, Jesus, was born; You knew what would eventually have to happen to even begin to forgive all of mankind for their many sins against You.
Luke 1:26-56 During Elizabeth’s sixth month of pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazereth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin. She was engaged to marry a man named Joseph from the family of David. Her name was Mary. The angel came to her and said,”Greetings! The Lord has blessed you and is with you.” But Mary was very startled by what the angel said and wondered what this greeting might mean. The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary; God has shown you his grace. Listen! You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of King David, his ancestor. He will rule over the people of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.”
Mary said to the angel, “How will this happen since I am a virgin?”
An earthly mother so proud and humbled-at odds. Mary pondered this heavenly pronouncement; to think about, reflect, consider carefully and fully-at odds.
Luke 2:8-20 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the Heavenly Host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
He’s a Savior, a Messiah, the Lord, but-a baby-at odds.
Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Well, I don’t know how to separate the celebration this year from the mourning. Maybe, though, this will be the first Christmas I truly get it. It is and was a time when all creation marveled at the Magnitude of the birth of the Christ Child. “Do not be afraid,” said the angel of the Lord. “On Earth, Peace to those upon whom His favor rests.” It’s a heavenly celebration-don’t be afraid-at odds.
I, too am thinking, reflecting, considering carefully and fully all that has happened to my earthly family. I’m at odds. I’m now thinking, reflecting, and considering carefully and fully all that happened for me-for all of mankind.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
Dear Lord, You loved the world, and gave us Your only Son. You gave Him to us and then allowed the crucifixtion the tortured death of Your son for the world-at odds.
For this I give thanks for the birth and the mourning. Amen