This is a devotional for the days after Christmas Day … or thereabouts.
In America and much of modern western culture, the Christmas season has degenerated into a predominately secular affair with start and stop dates defined by a marketing calendar. According to this cultural norm, after the big day, the Christmas season is officially over.
“Now ladies and gentlemen, please turn your attention to our after-Christmas clearance sales, football games, and New Years Eve parties.”
Not that there’s anything wrong with that …. I like all that stuff, kind of.
But, there’s a lot wrong with shutting down the Christmas spirit the day after. No wonder people get the Christmas blues.
The sky is falling! The sky is falling! – Chicken Little
As I’m writing this, December 2018 in America, it seems the world may be falling. The federal government is shut down, there is a revolving door of turnover in the Executive office,the stock market has been plummeting for weeks, France is enflamed in riots and chaos, California burned down, Great Britain’s “Brexit” is a tangled mess … and worse than that, I can not find my car keys. Again.
Could this be,“the end of the world as we know it”?
As I’m writing this, Advent and Christmas of this year are shaping up to be the darkest I have ever personally experienced. It’s been a season of great loss and impending grief. I lost a good job, beloved family members have died, others are declining or terminally ill.
We are not traveling and “going home” for Christmas this year, a long-held tradition, because the extended families are just too depleted.
Advent reminds us there was a long season of preparation, waiting and anticipation before the Incarnation, the arrival of our savior Jesus as Emmanuel, “God with us”.When we make Jesus Lord of our lives, believers in Christ also receive a type of “incarnation” as Christ lives in us, among us, and through us.
When Yeshua is “incarnate” in you, then the divine presence and energy of God is released in your human dimension (or condition), and you can be who you are created to be, and do what God uniquely designed for you to do, and bear much good fruit for His glory.
I am constantly in a state of total dependence on God. This is my story, and this is my song. (Thank you, Fannie Crosby!)
I am counting on the Lord to lead and provide for the things I believe He has called me to do.
I have doubts and fears that seem massive and overwhelming at times.
But I also have faith, and all the faith that any of us really need is, well – minuscule. Jesus said that if we have just a tiny bit of authentic, trusting faith – the “size of a mustard seed” – then mountains will be moved. (Matthew 17:20).
So on October 31, 2018, by faith, I embarked on yet another improbable missions adventure. My first assignment was to lead worship in Greece for an international group of missionary leaders on a 6-day training intensive. The second leg of my trip was to minister in the nation of Ukraine in a variety of locations and contexts. I’ll tell all about that in a moment.
But first, I have to share one of my “ah ha” moments.