Of missed Messiahs and plans that don’t gel

Christmas 2011 011


The mouse hovered over rental car sites but as yet no reservation has been made for the Christmas trip.  She hovered over an ad for the Messiah and I said, “Let’s go……..Friday night it’s at the Mesa Arts Center.” She said, “You can just meet me there after work.” It’s one of our favorite things to do around Christmas.

“But what about your Mom, would she be okay here after dark?”

“Probably not,” she said. And as 29 seconds were left on the timer, she unclicked the button that would have reserved our seats in the mezzanine, right on the end. We sighed again for one more thing we missed out on this year.

The truth is, sometimes Christmas is made up of “missed Messiah’s” and “plans not set.” But Christmas has a way of coming anyway. So we find joy in the little moments of the season. Sitting by the tree in the mornings, listening to Christmas music, ushers in peace before the clatter and commotion of the day. Watching the cats play around under it………Seeing angels and bells and stars take shape in the oven as the smell fills the house.

And one day after Christmas, all this rushing around will cease to matter. I was reminded yesterday what does matter. The cross is what matters.

We look to His birth and resurrection and while those are wonderful miraculous events, what really speaks to us is His suffering on the cross. We look at Jesus pain and can no longer ignore the fact that He sees our pain too.

It is only at the cross that we see the great magnitude and depth of His love for us. You can hardly ignore a naked, dying man on a cross. And as Louie Giglio said in his message yesterday, our own pain is the megaphone through which the world learns about Christ.

And while we celebrate His birth, the cross is what continues to speak the loudest. And when we compare our pain to His all of our arguments fall silent.

When we gaze at Jesus on the cross, we can no longer say that we have a God who is unwilling or un able to enter into our greatest pain.

He is and He does, every single day.

A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
    and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
    and all flesh shall see it together,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Isaiah 40:3-5

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