The Shepherds, The Wise Men, and The Rest of Us

Throughout Advent, I’ve been pondering Immanuel, or “God with us” and about how True Love came to stay. In my previous post, I shared how I’m discovering that living with God is about receiving His love one day at a time. Actually, I knew that before, but apparently life requires relearning.

I spent four weeks prayerfully arranging our nativity set as an Advent-long devotion. I read and considered what each Christmas character says about Immanuel. It wasn’t a perfect study, but I was readier for Christmas than I’ve been in a long time.

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God With Us

This Advent (and year) has been one of wanting. Wanting more fun, more good news, and someone else to cook dinner. Wanting more of my family and much less of them at the same time. Wanting things to be normal but also everything to be different. Wanting Covid to go away forever.

And if you remember where we left off last time, I had just confessed that I want Immanuel, or “God with us” to mean more than it does.

For the record, I can’t remember a day in my life when I didn’t love Jesus. I’ve prayed and gone to church since forever. I’ve collected shelves of books and Bible studies about God. I’ve taken classes, retreats, and even answered a call to ministry.

Sometimes, in all of our coming and going, we forget what love looks like.

How could we forget? We were made from love, for love, and to know it when we see it. True Love, that is…

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The Manger

When our kids were little, they loved playing with a toy farm set. It had a tractor, baby animals, and a hay loft. I still laugh about the time when they were playing and my daughter held up the toy food trough and asked her brother, “Where should we put Jesus’ bed?” Bless those small, churchy, city slickers.

Our farm toy was loved to death and is long gone. High-chairs have been given away, bunkbeds have been dismantled, and we’re finally past braces and birthday sleepovers. The only tangible remainders are a few choice toys and favorite books that I’ve carefully stored away in hopes of grandchildren. Someday.

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