This past Sunday, I had the privilege of sharing briefly with my church family via Skype. It was wonderful to reconnect with voice and video. I was reminded again of just what a special church the Lord allowed me to grow up in. And he gave us an amazing pastor, who prays for me and even shepherds me long-distance.
After the videocall, I continued listening to the church service in my bedroom here in the city, black metal shutters closed to keep out the heat. It also keeps the room dark, which was perfect for the two purple candles I planned to light for the second Sunday of Advent.
Looking around, I saw a mess, almost a disaster area. There were reasons for that – fatigue, sewing projects, doctor’s appointments, phone calls, banking challenges. But it really resembled a disaster area, with piles of papers, scraps of fabric, unfolded laundry. And I wished the room was cleaner. But even miles away from my Bethel church family, with no pew to sit in, I lit a match and set it to the candles. In that moment, my heart stilled, and I forgot (or chose to ignore) the mess and the long to-do list. And a sharp contrast caught my attention.
Light in the darkness. Quietness. Stillness. Worship. Moments of peace intentionally clutched from the grasp of life’s busy-ness. Seeing Jesus only, when everything around screams for our attention.
Jesus reminded me that He came not only into the darkness, but also into the messiness, the busy-ness, the rush of this world. Jesus the light. Jesus our peace. Jesus who holds all things together, even when we might think they are falling apart.
Jesus is the first and best Christmas present ever given. He is also alive and real today, in our current, present, daily lives. The following prophecy was written years before Jesus was born, but the first part is written in present tense, as Isaiah saw the future as the present, by faith in the facts that God supernaturally revealed to him.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
And although we now look back at the historical, past event of Christ’s birth, we can also view it in the present. He is no longer in the manger, but He still IS born to us. He still IS the Son of God given as the Saviour to all who will believe. Christmas present. Jesus present. God with us. Emmanuel.
We head back to the village tomorrow, bright and early! Yes, I should be sleeping, not writing. If any of my thoughts above are incoherent, please dismiss them and forgive the unclear writing. And the Post of Christmas Future will just have to wait. Please stay tuned for it’s appearing, as well as other updates, probably January 7th or so.