Thursday, December 27, 2018

Presents or Presence


Link to Forward Movement graphic

Christmas is not over. That's meant to be good news. If you are exhausted from the lead-up to December 25th, maybe you can find respite and spiritual refreshment during the observance of Christmastime, the Twelve Days of Christmas.

We can make an exchange - the season of Christmas presents for the presence of Jesus. This is a worthy pursuit from Patheos blogger Rev. Melissa Cooper:

God is with us now, in the quiet and stillness of the in-between time after Christmas but before the new year really kicks off; and God will be with us as we move all-too-quickly into a Lenten season of new and different chaos again. Friends, this year, reclaim Christmas for yourself. Celebrate those 12 days not with presents, but with presence.

Seeking God’s presence a significant theme for me. The idea that the Lord visited us in the physical presence of Jesus is a compelling part of the Christmas story. 

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:23 KJV)

I’m not well read in the theology of incarnation, however, “God with us” is my personal experience. Like Rev. Cooper, I encourage you to seek God’s presence during Christmastime. Carve out a space in your routine for God. He will fill it in a surprising way!


O Come, Emmanuel!

We gather at Christmas
to commemorate,
to celebrate
God with us.

It's history,
our tradition:
God visited.
God with us.

It's present tense,
real time:
God abides.
God with us.

It's the future:
Creation restored.
God returns.
God with us.

May we experience
your presence,
Emmanuel,
Jesus Christ.
God with us.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Advent. The Arrival.



Observing, pondering...
ADVENT. The arrival.

God makes an appearance
in the person of Jesus.

Church words...
Begotten. Incarnate.

Hymnal words...
Emmanuel. God with us.

An Old Testament change-up...
Not a pillar of cloud.
God in the flesh!

Physicality is the hallmark.
It inspires a muscular faith.

He comes to us,
as one of us,
walking with us.

So we decorate,
carol, feast and gift.
To commemorate
a personal advent.
The arrival of
Jesus the Christ
in heart and home.

Thanks be to God!
Amen.




Browse Advent prayers: