Advent 2016: Christmas EvEvE

Readings: Luke 1:46b-55; 2 Samuel 7:18, 23-29; Galatians 3:6-14

The guests have all left. The kitchen is cleaned up. Nat King Cole is crooning on the radio about chestnuts roasting on an open fire. My kitties are curled up in their warm places…one in her bed and the other sprawled in front of the fireplace. I’m holding a cup of mulled cider in one hand as I contemplate the joy of my house overflowing with friends, old and new, and my joy at feeding them and laughing with them. Love shared. Hearts opened. Fears assuaged for a few hours.

“Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far?” (2 Samuel 7:18)

I’m with King David on this one. Who am I and how did we get here? And thanks God for bringing me here. To this place. To this time. To this home. To these friends. To this warmth. To this season.

I try to say thank you every day. But some days I say it without the feeling attached. This day. This moment, all the feeling is attached. I have a tribe. We are warriors. We love hard. We live well. We do what we can to make things better.

“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
For the Mighty One is holy,
and he has done great things for me.” (Luke 1: 46b-49)

I’m with Mary! For very different reasons she and I feel that God has taken us from our humble and lowly places, and lifted us to a place of blessing. Mary as the mother of Jesus. Me as the survivor girl who has made a life from scratch. From crumbs. From fear. From pain. My soul praises the Lord too Mary. It really does.

Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:14)

I’m with Paul on this (words rarely spoken from my lips these days…#sorrynotsorry Paul). The story of Israel in the Bible is a story of a people who were blessed and loved and led by God. Yup…it’s messy. Yup…they do it wrong. And yet, God calls them beloved. And in the Jesus story…in the Christ Child…in the resurrection story, we are all called beloved. We receive the very Spirit that dwelt in the man called Jesus. And we are all united in that. We all have a shared Spirit.

The Spirit that recognizes good in one another and helps us pause to express love. The Spirit that settles into the deep, sweet places with us…with me…on nights like tonight. In the afterglow of a party, with the warmth of the blankets and the fire, and the love of home, kittens, and a cup of warm mulled wine.

Amen Spirit…Amen!

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