December 20, 2010

Dec. 20: Praise the Lord from the heavens

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By Bethany Swope, church relations coordinator
THIS WEEK’S THEME: Praise the Lord from the heavens

DEVOTIONAL:

It’s finally here! Christmas is this week!

Or, perhaps: It’s already here? Christmas is this week?

Amid the bustle and busyness, the 20s of December have arrived. As I think about the year coming to a close, I wonder how it can seem like whole weeks have evaporated from my packed schedule of work, church and other responsibilities.

My chronos-driven daily living has crowded my willingness to be open to the kairos moments of Advent. How can I “praise the Lord from the heavens” when I haven’t finished hanging up my Christmas decorations? When am I supposed to take time to pray when the laundry is spilling over the sides of the basket? I already know the Christmas story – I need to stay focused on my to-do list.

Somewhere in those cluttered thoughts, another possibility creeps in: Pause. Breathe. Wonder. Christmas is this week, the gift of God’s breaking in to our time to show us a new way. Praise the Lord from the heavens!

We need to hear the story again. In it, may we discover and embrace another piece of what God intends for us. May we linger in this week’s texts and Advent reflections. Perhaps we’ll even see something we would have otherwise been too busy to notice.

Holy One, grant us the desire to pause and wonder this week. Help us, each day, to linger in the story of love incarnate and look ahead with praise toward the birth of your Son. Amen.

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Comments (10)

  1. Thank you very much for these good thoughts and the challenge to
    take the time to think about what this story means. To think about Christmas from the perspective of God, Jesus, Mary and Joseph in the time when Jesus’s birth took place causes more wonder and amazement. Barbara Longenecker

    Charles Longenecker December 20, 2010 |
  2. I just wanted to send my thanks for this series that interrupted the business of the season at least a little bit to be reminded that God was coming to live among us. I was particularly impressed by the insights of individuals from all levels of academia.
    Again, thanks.

    Rogers McLane December 20, 2010 |
  3. Thank you Bethany! It is true for me that “my chronos-driven daily living has crowded my willingness to be open to the kairos moments of Advent.” I am grateful for “hearing the story, ” again. It’s time for me to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Blessings to all!

    Pam Bartholomew December 20, 2010 |
  4. Thank you very much for this post! I so needed to hear this!

    Christina December 20, 2010 |
  5. Amen and Amen…..come Lord Jesus.

    E. Hochstedler December 20, 2010 |
  6. YESSSSSS! Pause…Breath…Wonder — especially wonder. Thanks for the good admonition.

    Lloyd Miller December 20, 2010 |
  7. I like “linger in the story of love incarnate.” Thanks, Bethany.

    Joan December 20, 2010 |
  8. Thanks for this great invitation to enter the week of Christmas by the road less traveled.

    Janice December 21, 2010 |
  9. One reason I love Advent is the opportunity to re-live or reenact the waiting for Emmanuel. It gives us the opportunity to see and experience what we otherwise would miss. Thank you, Bethany, for this reminder to give myself to that possibility.

    Shana Peachey Boshart December 21, 2010 |
  10. Thanks for such an arresting meditation Bethany; and warm good wishes for Christmas,
    Tony (Ireland)

    tony Walsh December 21, 2010 |