Thursday, December 22, 2011

Seeing Jesus from a New Point of View

From the All Souls Weekly, December 25, 2011

Last weekend I was at a holiday gathering where there was a young woman who is expecting a baby next month.  A friend saw us talking and said, “Show them the sonogram.”  And then to us, “You’ve got to see this.”  At that, the expectant mother took out her iphone and brought up a picture of her baby in utero.  There on the little screen appeared a sonogram image in 3-D.

Though it was a little startling to be shown a three dimensional picture of a developing baby in the midst of cookies, cakes and seasonal silliness, I’ve been thinking that our friend gave me a great gift in sharing the image of her child.  She reminded me that as familiar as I may be with the scripture, the theology, the carols, and all the other aspects of celebrating Christmas, God might be inviting me to see some new aspect of Jesus this season. God always adds a new dimension.

Whenever I decorate for Christmas there are certain things I want to go in just the right place.  The wooden nativity set my father made goes on the coffee table in my office and has to be placed on a particular piece of fabric.  A candle is placed in front, not behind.  At home, the Christmas tree goes in one particular corner of the room—nowhere else. Bows on wreaths go on the bottom, not on the top. On and on goes my “Customary for Christmas,” and while there is tremendous comfort in tradition and repetition, I hope I’ll be alert to whatever new insight God might bring this season.  Perhaps the tree in a different place might help me see something new.  Perhaps a change in my routine can add a new experience of God’s grace and presence. 

God brings all kinds of new things into our lives this season—many good, others more challenging. Some of the people we loved and held close last year are no longer with us and their absence will be felt strongly.  Sometimes economic changes cause us to adjust our celebrations or change our old patterns.  The Good News is that just as God was with Mary and Joseph—in their confusion, their fear, their worries, and their poverty—God is with us, eager to be known in new ways.

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