Showing posts from December, 2013

Finding Hope in a Blue Christmas

Welcome to Real Life . Not every Christmas is a merry one. “I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel.” –Charlie Brown from A Charlie Brown Christmas It’s the Sunday before Christmas and I’m feeling blue. [1] I’m sick, again, and on my second round of antibiotics. I can’t seem to shake this virus. Since I haven’t felt well, I put off Christmas preparations. Now, the holiday is upon me and I’m overwhelmed. Yesterday, I pushed through a day of baking Christmas cookies with my elderly parents who are staying with me. Even feeling lousy, I thought that with enough caffeine, baking together would make a precious memory. I was wrong. I ended up working to get it done, with few words and little joy. The day will be a memory alright, just not a fond one. Still feeling poorly this morning, I debated whether or not to attend church. I decided the sermon might lift my spirits. So, I went. Instead

I Am the Lord's Servant | Luke 1

Welcome to Real Life . The nativity story—angels, shepherds, manger, young couple, and newborn baby Jesus—is as warm and tender as a Hallmark moment. But, did it feel warm and tender to Mary? “Don’t be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and give birth to a son,  and you are to give him the name Jesus.” Gabriel’s message radically altered Mary’s destiny. She, a virgin, engaged to Joseph, would soon be with child. It was a miracle—never before, never again repeated. The angel’s words troubled the young woman. She didn't understand. “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” Still, Mary welcomed God’s invasion into her small world, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” I wonder at what point Mary considered how others would respond to her unplanned, unwed pregnancy. Did her mother cry at the news? Joseph, heartsick at her assumed betrayal, almost broke off their engagement. Did neighbors and friends gossip? N