No One Gave Him Anything (11AM)
“‘Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.” One event in all of human history caused a radical shift in how we understand our value, and the value of others. One event. One life. One Divine life. When He appeared our value was reaffirmed, our place in the world and in eternity reconfirmed, our relationship with God re-established.
We are drawn, literally drawn by God, into this time of Advent. Advent is the word used inside the Christian Church to set apart the four weeks prior to Christmas as a time of waiting, of declaring, of reflecting, of preparing, of expectation. Each week, as we move closer to the miracle in Bethlehem, we find the miracle Himself moving closer to us. Despite all attempts to minimize, marginalize, commercialize, the larger purpose, meaning, and presence of Christmas keeps intruding into our world, and our lives. Even the hardest hearts warm a few degrees … think the Grinch or Ebenezer.
This morning as we enter the second week of Advent we reflect on the gift of Peace. When Jesus first appeared, born at the end of a long journey … a journey much farther than traveling from Nazareth to Bethlehem, peace was in short supply. The Roman army enforced what they called the Pax Romana (the Peace of Rome). But a forced peace is no peace. Real peace can only come from God. He takes root deep in our soul and grows. God provides the confidence that when He appeared, our soul found, and felt, its true worth. Do you know that? Do you feel that? Two sons, struggling to find their place, their worth, their father. And then He appeared...