There were fourteen of us gathered in the small sanctuary. I'd come that night nearly feeling crushed by the weight of many things... It was as if I had felt the darkness of sin and despair and endless night far more deeply that last couple of days.
But that night... as the candles were lit and the music began... we remembeed in reverence the night that holiness touched the unclean. The night that the sacred was born amidst all that was profane. The night a King stepped down from His throne to romance a world that lay in endless night. That night, fourteen voices worshipped a Lord that abandoned His home to walk our sod, feel our pain, and cry our tears. We beheld our King that night... the one that gave up the riches of heaven for the poverty of the earth, the one who came wrapped in human flesh to blot out our darkness with His blood. The King in whom the soul would find it's worth. That night the heaviness I'd carried in was overwhelmed by light.
As my own womb swells with life this winter... I cannot help but think about the weight she carried. To be the womb to Emmanuel... to feel Christ kick and move within her must have given her such tremendous joy mixed with such an incredible sense of weight. As she held her deliverer in her arms did her soul feel it's worth? Did her longing and aching for a savior cease the moment she beheld his face?
Oh, Jesus have I remembered to see your face? To be a womb for you... a witness of your redemption? Or have I forgotten.... how big the small things are.... how seen the unseen is? Have I dare forgotten the extravagance of your gift to humanity?
A couple of days ago I recieved a most unexpected and extravagant gift. One that took my breath away and made my eyes brim with tears. I dare say it was the most moving gift I have ever experianced coming from human hands. And although the gift itself was extravagant... more moving still was that it was given to me... on a day I least deserved it. A beautiful reminder of the redemptiveness of grace... to be given freely extravagance that we do not deserve.
To be redeemed by a King who kneels....
For years Israel waited with longing for their deliverer. And today... two thousand years after his coming... we forget to long. We forget to wait with great anticipation. We forget to again let our souls find worth in our King. Amidst the lights and trees and gifts and lists of things to do we forget this extravagant gift of hope to a dark and broken world. A baby who scrubbed the world of it's profanity.
I don't want to miss it.
That night... as the fourteen of us woshipped the birth of our King we were asked a question...
"What treasure is God asking you to bring to the King?"
Under my tree lye presents for so many of those I love. What have I brought to my king?
So this week I have been on my knees asking Him what I could do or bring...
And this morning he brought something my mom did back to memory. I was in first grade at the time and just feeling incredibly unsure and scared. I didn't want to go to school... I wanted to stay at home... with her. And she could have been one of those moms who just said "tough it out"... I know many who would have. But she didn't. My mom came with me to school.... and sat with me in the reading circle as we read stories about Dick and Jane. She offered mercy when I was scared and unsure. She let go of her day and her agenda. And although she probably had no idea all that was going on in my little heart... she offered mercy anyway. She stayed anyway. And the impact of that event and so many like it has been huge. I credit much of the strength and self-identity I have to my mom. She was an incredible example of mercy and understanding. She has always been a womb for Jesus. Quick to give undeserved grace and slow to judge.
I think thats what he wants of each of us... to simply be a womb for Him. To offer extravagant love and mercy to those we feel least deserve it. To be a person who offers redemptive grace... To reach out instead of reaching in. To pick up the cheerios one more time.... and to do it with gratitude in our hearts. To sit with the unsure and scared and give up our own agendas.
To be a womb for the God whose only agenda was to offer hope to humanity.
Merry Christmas... may you be blessed by the extravagant gift of His grace.