What would you choose?

We had an amazing sermon yesterday morning and an equally amazing service of lessons and carols last night. If you think Presbyterians are dull and lacking in real joy, you should have been at FPC last night! I feel like being very quiet and still today and letting it all soak in. I'm still swimming in the wonder and the words, but I want them to saturate my being so I can enjoy them for a good long time.

I was thinking about the wondrous night of Christ's birth--things natural and supra-natural occuring. Woudn't it be neat to see and experience all the things that we read about in the Bible? To see the angels and run to the manger. To behold the star--but I think I'd want to experience all that with the knowledge I have now. Surely all those involved had an inkling of what was going on--hello, everyone involved at the stable had seen ANGELS and been spoken to personally by them! I guess that would give you an inkling and then some.

But then I was thinking about what we, as Christians living 2000 years benefit from. We have the gospel accounts of Christ's birth--from so many perspectives. We hold in our hands and have engraved in our hearts the prophecies. Then we are also on this side of the cross--we see the birth of Jesus unfold into his sinless life and death and resurrection on the cross. If that isn't amazing enough, we have the writings of the apostles who--inspired by the Holy Spirit--expound and explain the mysteries to us! Reading in II Corinthians that "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might have the righteousness of God" surely gives me even more cause for delight and wonder as I ponder the Christmas story. Then there is Revelation which inspires such expectation and longing within for things to come!

Scripture alone is sufficient for why I am actually glad to celebrate Christ's birth in the here and now, but God has also gifted us (here and now) with the gift of 2000 years of saints meditating and writing about Christ's birth. We have access to writings and songs and poems that express what one person alone could not.

So, I suppose, here in 2009, as distracted as I am by the worldly trappings of Christmas, I am thankful to be here and not there. I am thankful to look backwards at that chapter of the Great Redemption Story and to rest in the knowledge that one day I will be present and participating in the grand finale--the return of our King! Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Which would you choose?

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