Grace
December, 2009


                                                 December is the turning point
                                                   of the darkest days of autumn.  
                                                     We find grace…
                                                        light begins to shine for longer periods.  

                                                From dark times, in the darkest moments,
                                                     the greatest storms,
                                                      in the depths and roots of our lives,
                                                     we begin to see.  

Theodore Roethke, in his poem,
In A Dark Time, writes:  
“In a dark time, the eye begins to see…”

It is the darkness that reveals the light.                                                         
In the huge disruptions and struggles of our lives,                                            
our values get adjusted.                                                  
In the darkest times, Jesus comes…                                                    
He shines in the places we shame ourselves.                                                   
He shines where we are cruel and selfish.                                                   
In all our dysfunctions and addictions,                                                   
He comes alongside us, holds us,                                              
and makes a way where there was no way.                                                
He draws us to Himself.                                                  

     He forgives us.  
In our falling, brokenness, and emptying,
He is aroused.  
He runs toward us…
with open arms…
He sees our fear, anguish, and knows our “poorness.”  

                                       Christmas is about God breathing on us…
                                       to be carried by Him…yielding…
                                  experiencing a form of dependence that brings peace.  
                                     Christmas is about God!  
                                   It is about His coming to us…
                                         His touching us…His voice…His presence.  
                                       We leave the poverty of our own lives
                                          and become immersed in His.  
                                               We find our center again.  
                                       We see again!  

Christmas is about what God does--
God coming to us:  as a nation, in our marriages,
children, parents, friends, churches, and our hearts.  
     We break down with such joy, we weep…
and are left speechless.                                                        
We are awed and marvel--                                                      
always surprised by the grace of God!                                                         
We gasp…there is the Incarnation!                                                              
We have so longed and waited—                                                         
now God’s goodness shines.                                                         
He comes.  He has always been there…                                                        
in the roots…carrying us along,                                                          
laboring with us, suffering with us.                                                        
We find the slow gathering of joy.                                                        
The overwhelming sense of His coming to us radiates upon us.  
He shines!  He does not leave us alone.  
He does not cast us off.  He hears our voice.  
He is faithful despite our faithlessness.  

     Now in the months ahead we enter winter.  
With His incarnation manifest in our hearts,
we await epiphanies to nurture us in the journeys ahead.  
                                        He sustains the world…all creation…
                                           He holds it all together, including us.  
                                            He travails and suffers with us
                                          as we await the coming of His kingdom.

     We look forward with great joy
and anticipate His marvelous presence this season.  
Christmas brings so much light:
candles, lights on the Christmas tree, music, the joyful faces of children, the
warmth of family, and the reassurance of goodness in our world.  
What a relief!  

     “Arise, shine; for your light has come!                                                  
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.                                            
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,                                           
and deep darkness the people;                                                
but the Lord will arise over you,                                               
and His glory will be seen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1-2).                                    


     Merry Christmas everyone…much joy to you!