"How's your mom?" People frequently ask this question about my remarkable mother. The answer is tricky because the layers to the story are many and complex. The answer is often the sentimental version about my 81 year-old mother who still works as a volunteer, teaches in an adult education setting and mentors college students (only a partial list of her busy schedule). Or do I tell the special version that shares her courage and tenacity in the midst of great physical pain? There is also the sacrificial version that only a child can tell who has known the love of a mother with a deep personal faith. There is also a sinful version that is a part of our fallen world but we won't go there. Most often the constraints of time and appropriateness leave me telling the sentimental (but incomplete) version of my mother's life.
As I listen to people speaking of Christmas, I also hear many incomplete versions, often referring to the Christmas spirit of love, kindness, gentleness and goodwill – a sentimental version. The sacrificial version (the reality of Christmas) is rarely heard these days – the story that an eternal God lovingly reached out into time and space with the answer for the desperate need of mankind through the sacrifice of His Son.
God became flesh through the instrument of a young woman and made His dwelling among us in a stable and an occupied land. This story is far from sentimental – there is nothing sentimental about coming to die. It is a supernatural story of Loving Sacrifice. Will we miss the story this year? I trust not.
The angel Gabriel speaking to Mary said,
"…You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, his kingdom will never end." (Luke 1:31-33 NIV)
Sharing the journey with you,