Windows into the Light by Michael Sullivan

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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Sunday, December 7

They are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection.
—Luke 20:36

Remember what it was like to get a gift when you were a child? All wrapped in paper and bows, you’d take your fingers and rip the package apart in anticipation of what might be inside. What incredible little gizmo would you find? What treat would it hold? How would you spend your days using it over and over again? What a feeling, what a place in our hearts when the imagination, reality, and the freedom of childhood all collide in one burst of anticipatory energy.

But remember some other time, probably a little later in life, when someone said something about you that was not true or that was so true that it hurt. Perhaps someone said you were lazy, not so smart, or not so thin. That can rip into your life and leave you feeling as if you’ve been unwrapped, not as a wonderful gift, but as something that’s unwanted.

In that moment, the wonder, love and trust of childhood begin to fade.

As we grow, we tend to respond to these experiences in one of two ways. We either dig in, become fearful and bury most of who we are, or we respond in compassion for ourselves and those around us, seeing life as God’s goodness despite the ranting of others.

Wherever we are along this journey, Christ comes to us in acceptance and love. When the pain of this life hurts us, God comes in the form of our humanity, taking on all the messiness, liberating, freeing, loving. No matter where we are and what is happening, God is coming to us, wrapping us up, restoring the beautiful gift that each of us is in the created world.

So this year, as you wrap the gifts and get ready for the feast, reflect on God’s love for you as his incredible gift to your own self and the world. Feel God’s loving arms restoring the beauty of who you are as a human being, and know that you are cherished and loved. You will be the terrific thing under God’s tree.

You give me life each day to be the person you called into being; help me to see myself as you see me, and trusting in that image, help me become your grace and mercy more and more in this world you so love. Amen.