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The Reason for Christ: Seven Words

IMG_8420The vulnerable fetus Mary was carrying, whose conception was not completely science-based but entirely evidence-based, was born to humanity in all its diversity, so that we — no longer Jew or Gentile, no longer slave or free, no longer male or female, indeed transgender —  we without right or entitlement but by grace through faithcould be called children of God.

It is for these 7 words that Christ came to earth.

Merry Christmas!

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A curious thing happened to Joseph on the way to divorce

So much.
So much casting shame and guilt.
So much accusing of conspiracy and falsehood.
So much indicting for behaviors unbecoming and deeds unwelcome.
So much righteous indignation.
So much misunderstanding.

And yet…

cimg1472This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. (Matthew 1: 18-19)

Joseph, the faithful, had every right to cast out his young bride-to-be, who apparently, was not. And yet… he grew curious about how this came to be. He questioned how it may have come about. He deliberated on the action he was about to take. He wondered if there was more to this story than he yet knew. And then,

an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-22)

Who am I falsely accusing?
What conclusion am I jumping to?
Where have I misread, mistrusted, and misunderstood?

How, in my righteousness, which I have called faithfulness
have I hurried to divorce – even quietly –
rather than consideration, consolation, provision?

Where, in my failure to be curious,
have I rushed to the … and now!
rather than abiding in the … and yet?

Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.

Keeping Christmas Real

What if Christmas isn’t the “most wonderful time of the year”?

A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

What if it’s lonely?
I’m sick,
I’m lost
It’s terminal?

What if I’m missing someone?
She’s gone away,
He’s gone to heaven
They’ve passed to I don’t know where?

What if it’s smothering?
They don’t understand
Won’t accept me back
This is as good as it’s ever gonna get?

What if I’m waiting?
I’m drumming,
I’m pacing
It’s not looking good?

Christmas isn’t wonderful then.
Not like they promised
Not like they sing
Not like the song says
Let NOT the bells ring.

Christmas is not wonderful.
But Christ still is.

Born again in us, this day.
The spirit of life,
That overcomes sickness,
finds us in our losing,
breathes life into our suffocation,
understands, accepts, keeps,
and never leaves.

Even when Christmas is not wonderful,
It’s essential.
Not what we want,
but what we so dearly,
dearly, need.

Merry Christmas, friends.

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