Receiving Christmas

Daily reading: Joel 2:12-13, 28-29
Wednesday December 7, 2016

Focus passage: 12 Yet even now, says the Lord,
    return to me with all your hearts,
        with fasting, with weeping, and with sorrow;
13 tear your hearts
        and not your clothing.
    Return to the Lord your God,
        for he is merciful and compassionate,
        very patient, full of faithful love,
            and ready to forgive. Joel 2:12-13

We have been bombarded with the consumer version of Christmas for some time.  Each year it seems the stores pull out the Christmas goodies and play the music earlier and earlier.  Every year I hear people mumble under their breath, during the fall season “it’s not Christmas yet.”
We can easily believe the myth that we make Christmas happen.  Be it with the gifts that we purchase, the tree we set up, the family that we visit, the cookies that we bake, the cards that we send, the decorations that we hang and place.  We can con ourselves into believing that Christmas is a commodity that can be purchased or delivered by us for us. 

Joel reminds us that we don’t make Christmas happen.  We don’t bring God to earth to dwell among us.

Instead, Christmas is the fulfillment of a promise for God to come and dwell among us, to give us shalom peace that encompasses the entire community and our entire selves that reconciles us to creation, our neighbors and to God.


Prayer: God, help me to fully return to you.  I open myself to join in your dream for shalom peace within myself and for my community and world.  Amen.

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