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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Thursday, December 4

Then some of the scribes answered, "Teacher, you have spoken well." For they no longer dared to ask him another question.
—Luke 20:39-40

As part of my Episcopal tradition, I read the Daily Office—the scripture readings appointed for each day. 

Thinking about this lesson, I wondered—why do we read about Jesus and his ministry while we are preparing for Christmas? Shouldn't our lessons be about God coming to us, prophecy of a new day, anticipation of Emmanuel—God with us?

Well, in one way, they are. We are always looking for God, anticipating how God is invading our world and transforming us into a new creation. If anything is true about God in Christ, it is the radical news of God coming to us no matter what, no matter where, no matter how. And the voice of one crying in the wilderness preparing the way for our God, that voice is always ringing forth with grace and mercy.

But on the other hand, it's also important that we don't turn the time before Christmas into some kind of make-believe-Jesus-isn't-born-yet world. The Christian year and the lessons that go along with it aren't about re-enacting the life of Jesus to make it real again. No, the life of Christ is among us at all times in all places. When our lives intersect with the life of Christ, that place becomes our Bethlehem, Nazareth, or Jerusalem.

Sometimes, we anticipate; at others our lives intersect at the birth or the resurrection, and of course, the crucifixion.

The gift of any lesson about Jesus is knowing that God loves us more than we can imagine—that God gives us Jesus with all the authority he needs to be our Lord. And that is mighty Good News any time of year.

God, your story is all about coming to our aid when we need you, rushing in to life that we might know mercy; let me let you come wherever I am that I may know the loving arms of your grace. Amen.