Tuesday, December 27, 2016

stuck on Christmas

"a thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices"

   It's December 27th, but I am still stuck on these words from "O Holy Night." My goal for this season was to really focus on the gift that God gave me, the reason for that thrill of hope. The more I focus on it, the more overwhelmed I am by it. The more I am overwhelmed by it, the more my weary soul rejoices. 
   Now, I know, I know, I know, that most of you have heard everything there is to hear and know everything there is to know about the Christmas story. When I was four I corrected my grandma's pastor because he got the timeline wrong, so believe me, I feel you. And I don't have anything new or different to say about Christmas. In fact, I'm just gonna repeat a lot of what you've probably heard before. (Now is a good time to casually slip out the back if redundancy really irks you.) I feel very strongly, though, that some of us need to take a moment to listen to what we already we know. We need to take a moment, a pause, a timeout, to focus in on what we already know. 
   I mean, think about it. The king of the universe - the literal king of the literal universe - left Heaven to become a baby - a literal human baby. The one true God, the God who knows no bounds and who created and maintains everything - literally everything - took leave of His throne and the incessant worship given Him there. The king of the universe - the literal king of the literal universe - humbled Himself and came down to our level. He came to our puny little Earth, and He took on puny little human flesh. He dwelt among us. He grew up with parents and siblings, he experienced hunger and temptation and sadness, and he put up with our ignorance.
   The king of the universe - the literal king of the literal universe - walked around for 33 years and never once threw a fit when He wasn't given the respect He deserved. He didn't demand a throne. He never forced anyone to serve Him or to worship Him. He healed people, taught people, and was in relationship with people. Everything He did was for our benefit. Everything He did was out of His crazy, ridiculous love for us.
   Out of the His love for us, the king of the universe - I'm sorry, but we are literally talking about the literal King of the literal universe here - allowed Himself to be scorned, rejected, and mocked. He was beaten and bruised and torn. He died - He literally died. Not in a nice way, either. He was nailed to a cross designed for torture, and He hung there until He suffocated.
   He didn't have to. He could've changed His mind at any moment. He could have chosen to transport Himself back to Heaven. He could have chosen to have a legion of angels come fight an epic battle with the Romans. He could have done whatever He wanted.
   But He wanted us. He chose us. At the beginning of time, He chose us. 2,000 years ago, at that first Christmas, He chose us. Over and over and over again, He chose us and is choosing us, and for the rest of eternity He will choose us.
   He chose me. And that's why I'm kind of stuck on Christmas. That is why I feel this thrill of hope. That is why my weary soul rejoices.

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