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For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9.6
Everything is a wreck. Life is messy. Work is hard. The house is torn up. The animals are making things smelly and leaving hair everywhere. And, ’tis the season to be jolly! It’s the season when little girls wear velvet and little boys wear bow ties. It’s the season when the hand-crafted Advent calendar gets unwrapped from the Rubbermaid bin. The season of candles and trees and sparkle lights. Yet, I’m exhausted and I don’t have the energy to vacuum never mind invite the neighbors in for dessert and coffee. Tis the season to be WHAT?
They were weary and tired. The long walk through the rocky, mountainous, dangerous terrain was more than her young body, bulging with pregnancy, could take. She was trying her best to be quiet and kind as her betrothed looked for a motel room. She wasn’t the only one bulging – the entire village was, with taxpayers. No room here. No room here. She let out a long, pain-filled groan, “I must lie down – please find me a place to lie down.”
He did the very best he could. He found a stable outside the city. He kicked the hay around with his feet, shooed the goats and sheep away from the feeding trough, found clean straw and made two beds: one for his beloved and one for the baby just in case it decided to be born this night.
“Oh, my dear, thank you – I just need to rest for a bit…uummpphh…ah Joseph I think it is time.” What was he to do? He scrambled, he held, he pulled, he tied, he held Him up so he could see His face by moonlight. “It’s a boy. A beautiful boy just as Yahweh said,” as he laid Him in the trough with the clean hay he had prepared – when he turned to look upon Mary’s face, he saw she was sound asleep. He sat for moments staring at the newborn boy and all he could think was how in the world was this going to turn out, his eyes began to flutter with tiredness; he heard shepherd’s songs in the distance; one last time he looked in the feeding trough – this time rather than fear and doubt, he saw HOPE.
Father God, in the mighty Name of the One HOPE born in a manger two thousand years ago we beseech You. We come to you with our tired, our empty pockets, our sickness, our poverty and we ask You…AGAIN…for Your Hope during this busy season of Advent. Your Joy in the crazy bustle of our days. Your perfect Love when we want to pout rather than praise. Be our Strong God and our everlasting Hope. We lay our fear at Your feet and ask that Your perfect love casts it away. AMEN.