Daily Devotion - Thursday, December 24, 2015
This is the fourth week of the season of Advent. Throughout the season of Advent we'll be focusing on what it means to be full of expectation and anticipation during this blessed time of year. We'll also be lifting up the various weekly themes of Advent, corresponding to the lighting of the candles on the Advent wreath. This week our theme is "Love."
"Expectancy is the atmosphere for miracles." - Edwin Louis ColeI was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day and saw a couple of videos that had been shared and viewed several thousand times. One video was from the United Kingdom, taken by the parents of a little girl who was deaf, who was visiting Santa Claus in a store.
She sat on Santa's lap and it didn't take long for him to notice that she could not hear. And so he began to speak to her in sign language. Because of course Santa can speak in sign language. I sat there watching through misty eyes as the little girl brightened and began to smile as she and Santa talked about what she wanted for Christmas.
The other video I saw was from Georgia Tech University and was shot by students who were making a Christmas card presentation to a favorite security guard, who apparently was much beloved by the students who encountered him every day.
They announced to him that they'd taken up a collection and were giving him a check. The check was for $1600. The man stared at the check, and then at the students, and began to weep in joy while all of the students gathered around clapped.
Just two videos. Two moments in the midst of hundreds of thousands of other moments during this season of Advent, this season of expectation. And the reason why these kinds of moments get shared and re-shared is because they are miraculous.
We have been taught from an early age to expect miracles this time of year. And in turn, we'll gather with our own children and grandchildren tonight to light candles, sing and teach them the same thing. But when they happen--when miracles actually happen... it's like we almost can't believe they are true. We're amazed that they are possible, despite what we say we believe.
When the angel appeared to the shepherds to announce the birth of the Messiah he said, "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which will be for the all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord!" Like all of their fellow Jews, these poor shepherds had been longing for a miracle, for the Messiah to come, for God to rescue God's people.
And then it happened.
How did those poor shepherds respond to the miraculous? Those poor shepherds responded by running. They ran to the manger, and to Jesus.
Miracles are happening, brothers and sisters. They are happening all around us, all of the time. The kingdom of God is bursting forth, taking new ground away from the Darkness. Can you not see it? Can you not feel it?
It's almost time. Christmas Eve is upon us. Let's run to the manger, let's find even more capacity in our hearts to love, to hope... and to believe in miracles.
May you be filled this day with joyous expectation. May you find new vision and new awareness of the miraculous all around you. May you run headlong in joy and excitement to the Christ, who came to seek and to save all those of us who have been wandering and afraid.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, now and forever. Amen.