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The Second Day of Christmas….or Have We Already Moved Past the Awe?

Devotional Thought of the Day:
30  I have seen your salvation, 31  which you have prepared for all people. Luke 2:30-31 (NLT)

And what about us? Are we so far away from the stable because we are much too refined and too smart for that? Do we not get all entangled in scholarly exegesis, in the proof or disproof of historical authenticity to the extent that we have become blind and deaf to the Child himself? Do we not really all too intensely dwell in “Jerusalem”, in a palace, withdrawn within ourselves, in our self-sufficiency, our fear of being challenged, too much so to be able to hear the voice of the angels, to set out to worship?  (1)

Twenty-four hours ago, I was standing before people, putting into their hands the Body and Blood of Jesus, as we celebrated the Incarnation, one of the most amazing of miracles the world has ever born witness too.  For those who don’t know the term, this is the physical birth of Jesus, the Savior.

Like the shepherds, we were in awe, this is God, this is the one who made it possible for all of humanity to become children of God.  The God who counts us not as servants, but as friends.

I woke up this morning, had breakfast, watched a little bit of a movie with my son, talked to him about his presents, cleaned the car in anticipation for our vacation starting tomorrow afternoon, and came to work to write a sermon on the passage listed above.  Calculating how to get my laptop’s keyboard fixed, how to manage 100 other things.

Then I come to my office, pull out my devotional reading, and hear Pope Benedict’s question.

What about us?  Are we already so far from celebrating Christmas that it doesn’t matter?  Have we already forgotten the joy and relief as we help in our hands the very body of Jesus, in and under the bread and wine?  Have we already lost the awe of the moment?

Unfortunately, I had to be shocked into remembering; this is Christmas! 

I had to be shocked into calming down, focusing and thinking about the fact that God so loved us, that He came to us.   That He continually dwells among us.  We need to see His glory; we need to know His presence.  Instead of dwelling on that, and knowing His peace, that I had, as the former pope noted, drawn into myself.

You and I need these words of a simple old man named Simeon burned into us….

30  I have seen your salvation, 31  which you have prepared for all people. Luke 2:30-31 (NLT)

Take time over the next few days, to repeat those words, to get to realize what they mean.  Let over the next week those words burn into your soul….

And rejoice, for to you a Savior has been born, and you dwell in His presence, like the shepherds, and Joseph, and Mary.

AMEN!

(1)   Ratzinger, J. (1992). Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year. (I. Grassl, Ed., M. F. McCarthy & L. Krauth, Trans.) (p. 406). San Francisco: Ignatius Press.

A Reminder of What’s Important….

Discussion Quote/Devotional thought of the day…
I want you to realize that, even looking at things humanly, concern for souls follows naturally from the fact that God has chosen us. As one of the Fathers of the Church points out, “When you discover that something has been of benefit to you, you want to tell others about it. In the same way, you should want others to accompany you along the ways of the Lord. If you are going to the forum or the baths and you run into someone with time on his hands, you invite him to go with you. Apply this human behavior to the spiritual realm and, when you go toward God, do not go alone.”  Escriva,

Something to think about – where evangelism is not a duty… but a reaction to the grace we’ve been given.

I’ve used the illustration before – if someone was writing 1 million dollar checks to whoever stopped at the intersection of Carmenita Ave and !83rd Street – and you received one and realized there were thousands more available – who would you call?  When would you stop calling people?  Would someone have to actually tell you that you are commanded to tell them?

Is God’s grace worth more – and given as freely?

Take a few minutes – think about the promises God gave you when He cleansed you in baptism, think about the Body broken and Blood shed – the feast of the people of God are given… think about the freedom of being forgiven your sin, of having guilt and shame erased, of burdens and the things you resent being as if they didn’t exist… of walking this day… knowing God is with you – lifting you up, encouraging you, guiding you….

who do you know who needs those blessing – even more than they need 1 million dollars?

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