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  • Writer's pictureSt. John's Lutheran

Be Filled With the Mystery, Wonder, and Joy of a God Who Offers Himself to US!!!!

Luke 1:76

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways…

December 24, 2021

We’ve spent time this Advent thinking about preparing for the coming of Christ. John the Baptist’s clarion cry is, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths!” Once again, we ask, “How do we prepare?”

I’m certain that all of us have spent time preparing for Christmas — shopping, decorating, cooking, cleaning, sending cards and attending parties. Add to this list all the things that many of us need to do to prepare for Christmas in our congregations — choir rehearsals, caroling, the Christmas pageant, etc. All this busyness can leave us bushed!

However, I suggest that there is something right about these preparations. Certainly, we can all get too busy, spend too much money and fill our calendars with too many things. But there is an “Advent instinct” which recognizes that we do all these things in order to celebrate something much bigger than these things — the most profound Mystery of all history. God became a man. The eternal Word of God became human flesh and blood and lived among us (John 1). Giving Christmas gifts is simply a faint shadow of remembering the Greatest Gift ever given.

Christmas is the good news that we are not alone in the darkness which shrouds this world. There is a Light that pierces the darkness. There is a joy that is deeper than our sadness. If this is true (and I believe it is), then let’s sing, decorate and party. But don’t stop there! On this holy night, let us worship, bow down and receive anew the God who wraps Himself in human flesh and offers Himself to us as sheer Gift.

All our preparations for Christmas are not in vain if they are motivated by an Advent instinct. The instinct which recognizes the holy Mystery of the Incarnation. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas filled with mystery, wonder and joy.

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