Tuesday, November 19, 2013

our great need for christmas

"He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth." Isaiah 11: 3-4
Last Christmas at the Trail of Lights

My hands lifted dishes, scraping crumbs into the trash, wrapping up potatoes for another meal on another day. Boy 3 practiced Christmas songs on the piano. Boys 1 and 2 played somewhere in the back of the house. The Lady was lost in her intricate imaginary world.

Mr. Fantastic asked me to come outside with him. He wanted to show me something. I followed as he walked up to the mailbox.

"What are we doing out here?" I asked.

"I want to show you something," he said, the lightness of his voice made me happy inside.

Then I saw it. At the end of the street. Christmas lights. The first of the season in our neighborhood.

Unexpectedly and suddenly, I began to cry. "Oh...I need Christmas this year," I whispered out the truth to my husband, to God, to the beautiful night.

I am setting my feet onto the path of this holiday season feeling deeply needy.

Why do we think this is a sin, to be full of need? Why does our culture make neediness seem small, desperate, and shameful?

We look with our eyes at our homes, friends, and provision. We think how our many blessings that we do not deserve ought to satisfy us. We listen with our ears to the sounds of freedom, the song of thanks we sing, and the beautiful words of loved ones. We accuse our neediness because surely all if this ought to pacify our hearts.

Even still, the unshakeable feeling that we are poor and needy remains somewhere below the surface.

Because deep down we know we are naked before a holy God.
Isn't that what Adam and Eve learned when they fell from grace? They realized they were naked and so they hid from God.

Jesus does not look at what He can see with His eyes, or decide by what He can hear with His ears.

It is our great need for righteousness that saves us from His judgement.

It is our poverty, our great lack of goodness apart from Him, that makes us deserving of His decisions for us.

To truly know God we must come to Him poor and needy.

I am setting my eyes upon an empty manger. God is building an empty manager in my own heart.

At first it is empty because it awaits a baby, born fully God and fully man, destined to take away the sins of the world.

But then it is empty because the baby grew up to hang on a cross and rise from the dead to give us all the gift of eternal life.

Someday He will return and end our neediness forever.

But until that day, I need Him every hour of every day.

Christmas lights remind me that there is light for even the darkest winter nights.

Christmas music sings a lullaby to my weary soul, about how God is with us, beside us, born to us full of righteousness, peace, and holy love.

Yes, I need Christmas this year- a happy, delightful, bursting-at-the-seams-with-love Christmas.

Merry Early Christmas, friends. I hope you find yourself in great need of it this year. An empty manger awaits the birth of Love just.for.you.

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