As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God? – Psalm 42:1-2
This morning is one of those wet, dreary, too-warm-to-be-winter (62-degrees) days. The week only promises to get warmer and wetter.
But that’s outside. Inside MaulHall it’s Advent, and the “Christmas Spirit” is rampant. I may have a miserable cold, and Rebekah may be working long hours, but our hearts are singing with expectation!
But it’s not excitement about “what we’re going to get.” This year, for maybe the first time ever, there are absolutely no presents under the tree. Nada; zilch; nix; zero; zip; diddly-squat.
LOW-KEY: We will gift one-another; it’s inevitable; the tree will feature a few packages by Friday. But we have agreed to a more low-key approach this time around. We’re doing Christmas with Naomi, Craig, and the grandchildren on the 27th; we’re saving Andrew and Alicia’s presents till we see them in the New Year; Christmas morning will be just Rebekah, my parents, me, and the dog.
In consequence, all of our emotional energy is tied up in “The Story.” And what a story it is! Talk about your epic hero narrative! Jesus literally broke through the limitations of time and space to place himself in a completely vulnerable position, on the lowest possible rung of society, in an obscure outpost of an empire ruled by the iron first of Rome. Everything was stacked against the possibility of success except for one consummate fact – the fact of the purity of such belief and love.
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me. – Psalm 42:7
- Belief that the core, residual, sewn-into-our-DNA, loaded-with-possibility, essential goodness, fashioned into the heart of who we are by a purposeful Creator could, would, must respond to his call, deep calls to deep.
- And love that is willing to risk all in order to gain all, oh love that will not let me go.
JESUS: And Jesus came. God placed everything – all the longing and the anguish and the heartbreak and the joy of the Father – into the essence of a newborn child; and we – if only we pause long enough to look into the manger – behold his glory, full of grace and truth, loaded with expectation and promise, this invitation to join him in this quest to find our way home.
These things I remember
as I pour out my soul… – Psalm 42:4
And so we are full. Full to overflowing with a peace that is beyond understanding in the rush of seasonal hype, but utterly comprehensible in the context of the manger.
So, already and authentically, there is presence under the tree; love in our hearts; purpose resident in all that we are and do; and peace on this house.
- presence under the tree;
- love in our hearts;
- purpose resident in all that we are and do;
- and peace on this house.
May you know the truth of it, and the depth of its reach.
I am a pilgrim, and I continue to make progress – DEREK