Like a shepherd, God will tend the flock;
he will gather lambs in his arms
and lift them onto his lap.
He will gently guide the nursing ewes. Isaiah 40:11 CEB
Let’s be honest. Christmas expectations, waiting and hoping are WAY different depending on your perspective. As kids, we wondered about gifts under the tree. Ours. We couldn’t wait for Christmas break, not the childcare arrangements that working parents need to figure out. Unchurched as a child, I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to think about Advent. I was thinking about adventures!
As an adult, it has certainly been easy to get hyper-focused on re-creating Christmas adventures for my family. Another possible distraction from the reason for the season. But I also have MORE reasons to wake up and pay attention and reframe the holidays for myself (and maybe others?).
I am aware of my friends for whom this is the first Christmas without a child who lost their fight with substance use disorder this past year. I am awake to the possibility that for some, this is just another holiday that reminds them of their precarious financial position. Or the stress of dealing with fractured family relationships.
BUT - I can also choose to remember who God is, seeing as how I know more about him than I did when I was seven. I can remember that in all these things, God tends his flocks, gathers his lambs and gently guides nursing ewes.
Scott and I have been focusing on bearing God’s image for I do not know how long - are you sick of that message yet? This is the perfect time to practice what we’ve been preaching!! Are you willing to join us in trying to apply this in our daily life? In this holiday season?
The BIG question is how can I participate in tending, gathering, lifting and guiding? How can you?