Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Luke 2:7-14 KJV7

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

The season of Advent is a time of intentional reverence to the LORD, deep peace, unquenchable anticipation, glad tidings, renewed hopes, holy regeneration, and the fragrance of evergreen, balsam, frankincense and myrrh in the air. During the season of Advent, we, GOD'S beloved people, are reminded of his divine and precious promise for renewal and salvation to a wounded world. As many of us are nestled inside and feeling the warmth of the hearth, we can still hear the swift winter winds sing of the presence of goodness, good will, anticipation, and divine danger in the air.

As many of us reflect over the challenges of this past year, our faith has been challenged; our capacity to forgive others has been stretched beyond its limits; our holy invitation to love others has been a constant commitment, some of whom are not loving toward themselves nor others; our call to deeper service has been one of repeated self-sacrifice, our openness to renewed hope has been enveloped by the luminous presence of disappointments. Nevertheless, Advent is here!

During our journey over the next couple of weeks, as we approach The Stable of GOD, we will bear witness to a spectacular event! An event from a distant that appears ordinary, but upon closer contact with this spectacular event, a life transforming event that is, in fact, extraordinary! As we approach The Stable Divine, we bring our hopes and disappointments, we bring our strengths and weaknesses, we bring our insights and oversights, we bring our joys and suffering, we bring a sense of integration and brokenness, we bring our gains and losses, we bring our families and communities, we bring our nation and the world, we bring our boldness and trepidation, we bring our alcaldes and shame, we bring the acceptance of our perspective and the rejection of the perspective of others, we bring that which is known and that which is unknown, we bring our connectedness and our sense of being disconnected, we bring recovery and sickness, we bring success and failure, we bring clarity and mental illness, we bring the excitement of opened doors and the lament of closed doors, we bring our wisdom and ignorance, we bring our friends and those who seek to unintentionally and intentionally harm us, we bring our humility and arrogance, we bring our healed wounds and our woundedness, we bring the release of our burdens and the weight of those who have carried burdens for the past twelve months, we bring gratitude for those who have homes and the agony of those who have no place of refuge, we bring the excitement of the season of Advent and the pain that the season summons for many for whom life has been very difficult, we bring our traditions and the potential to embellish the tradition, we bring our songs and silence, we bring our prayers and utterances, we bring our truth and self-deception, we bring our wholeness and brokenness, we bring our resolution and our trauma, we bring our power and powerlessness, we bring patience and intolerance, we bring our competence and insufficiency, we bring ourselves and our unclaimed baggage, we our celebration of life and the solemnity of death, we bring all that we are GRACIOUS LORD and everything that we are not HEAVENLY FATHER! We bring the act of BRINGING! Bringing it all to The Stable Divine!!!

It has indeed, been a very dynamic and tumultuous year! So many of GOD'S beloved peoples' lives were claimed and changed by sickness, natural disasters, separation, unemployment, and war. Even now some of the LORD'S beloved people have just exited through the door of eternity to be reunited with the BELOVED SAVIOR! Through many dangers and toils, we have laughed a great deal; we have cried quite often; we have learned much; yet little as we have not allowed life's lessons to transform our hearts nor our perspective. Consequently, it is likely that a repeat is on the horizon.

Nevertheless, we approach The Stable Divine, some with anticipation, some with trepidation, others weary, some by self-righteousness, some driven by curiosity, and still others not by any volition of their own! Many come to The Stable of GOD with a prewritten script, and others with no script at all! Nevertheless, we approach The Stable Divine! Even still, others approach The Stable Divine as a consequence and commitment of tradition and others, because there is no room at the INN! Significantly, when we enter The Stable Divine, we discover that the LORD invites a Betrothed Virgin, a Man wise in his number of years and empathy, Shepherds, Three Wise Men, and a stable of animals to bear witness to the DIVINITY OF GOD, A BABY WRAPPED IN SWADDLING CLOTHING LYING IN A MANGER!!! We are perplexed as we are catapulted into the divine sphere as we see the face of TRUTH, HOPE, GRACE, LOVE, and a MIRROR that reflects who we are and the pristine beauty of what we shall be! We, upon bearing witness to the CHRIST CHILD, get a glimpse of the perfection of perfection! Yet as we look on the presence of the BABY WRAPPED IN SWADDLING CLOTHING LYING IN A MANGER, LORD, we did not know that we would encounter a MANGER MIRROR!

Commensurate with this act of witness-bearing, we are invited to become more intimately acquainted with the invitation for each of us become more loving, more understanding, more forgiving, more empathic, less judgmental, less self-centered, more tolerant, more CHRISTLIKE in our interactions with each other! O' Blessed Divine Redeemer we thank thee for thy grace and love of restoration! The beauty of the MANGER MIRROR resides in the fact that while it casts a truthful reflection of our image, it does not cast shame nor blame for when we look into the CHRIST-CHILD'S eyes we see our shortcomings and we see our potential! The BABY lay in the manger awaiting for each of us to pick him up and cradle him close to our bosom for in doing so, we become one in the bond of eternal love and at one with the LORD!

Consequently, GOD everpresently avails his presence to us. As we approach the season of Advent, we are required to avail presence to the season of Christmas as well as avail presence and bear witness to one another. The LORD reminds us and emphasizes the depths of his sacrificial love to his beloved creation in our observance of the sacred and profound holiness of CHRIST'S birth. A birth of spirit and flesh and a birth of blood and water! Advent compels us to never give up but to expect the miracles as they are new each and everyday and that the presence of the CHRIST-CHILD reminds us to access our unparalleled greatness in JESUS! As we enter the season of Advent, we are invited to reexamine and recommit ourselves in deep gratitude to the LORD for GOD'S rich grace throughout the year. May we rejoice that "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Thank you LORD for the MANGER MIRROR!

K. Mason
(c) 2005

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