When so much is expected of me (by the world, by others, but most of all, by myself), guide me in the greatest journey there is to take – the path I walk when I turn from self-sufficiency and gift-giving to God-dependency and the-gift-receiving.
This is the true path on Christmas morning where, in the bleak midwinter of the soul, I realize my smallness before the glory of God revealed all around me. I remember that “servant of the Lord” is a far better life than “master of my universe.” I choose to believe that the greatest gift does not need my preparation but is already here from a God who became flesh to live among us.
This Christmas morning, I preach to myself again the sermon I preached to others on Sunday morning. Before I ever give a gift, I must receive the gift – the good news that God, creator of the heavens and the earth – loves me and is on the way to me to redeem what I thought was lost, to restore what I thought was too tattered within me to be of use anymore, to resurrect what I thought was forever gone. Even more, this God is equally on the way to my neighbor in dramatic and powerful ways.
I remember that this gift never grows old, cannot be earned, and cannot be lost. It cannot be repaid. It will not evaporate when I get frustrated. It is as real the day I was born as it is today and as it will be on the day when I breathe my last
Every time I encounter this news and lean into it with more depth, I taste this truth as if it is new and I find myself surprised that it is even sweeter than I remembered. It is news so good that just the beginning of it is enough to rejoice at the fulfillment of it.
And just like that the angels sing, my soul is at peace, and it is time to start to live again this mystery. Children will stir any minute now, it is time to get ready.
Morning “stories” from my Advent Instagram practice with the daily lectionary…