December 17

Read John 3:31-36.

In July, my 13-year old son randomly says one day in the car, “I want Christmas cheer! I’m tired of all the bad stuff going on around the world. I want Christmas cheer to come now — I’m tired of waiting!” Since it was 105 degrees outside, I could have done with at least some Christmas weather. 

I had to admit, though, with the heaviness that so often feels like it’s hanging over the world, and the drumbeat of all that is wrong serving as the soundtrack to every news story, even in the most wonderful moments it is hard to remember what the spirit of Christmas really is. There is a lot competing with Christmas cheer, isn’t there? 

New Testament scholar N.T. Wright describes messages spoken by “one from the earth” as those that “have no breath of heaven about them.”* Messages that keep us from seeing God’s presence around us. Words that keep us from seeing God “pouring out God’s love through Jesus Christ into the world” right now, again and again and again. Pouring into our lives the same breath from heaven as Christ had, which brings life and light to all the world.  

Whether you are feeling the Christmas spirit or not, pause. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths. Remember that the very Breath of Heaven whose birth we again prepare to receive is already within you. Around you. 

Pray

Holy God, help me to remember that you are continuously pouring out your love through Jesus Christ upon me, upon every situation and person, upon the world. Help me to receive the truth of the love you give through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Rev. Gini Norris-Lane

Executive Director, UKirk Collegiate Ministries Association

* Wright, N. T. John for Everyone. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002, p.38.

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