Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Advent Reflection

With the rush and stress of all the pre-Christmas activities, we tend to forget the real meaning of this season.  I was reminded of this by an email that I subscribe to: Henri Nowen, the late priest who wrote inspirational works and worked wondrous inspirations in the lives of many especially the less fortunate, (or so we think that they are less fortunate).

Anyway, the phrase that hit me is this: "A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him . . ." (Isa.11:1-2). 

A shoot, a small shoot from an indiscreet stump, will sprout the One who will be our Savior.  And here we are looking to find "Christmas" in all the big, fancy, bright things around us - the gifts, the events, the parties, the shopping, the givings and receivings, the decorations, the lights!  And yet, it is in the quiet, the smallness, the nothingness (or so we think) that we will find the true meaning of Christmas.

He was born in a manger, among the animals, among the hay.  Nothing fantastical about that.  A manger, in a barn, smelly and dirty.  Not a place for Him who is our King.  And yet it is this place that He chose to come into this world, to be one with us, with humanity.  This is how great His love is for us.  He chose to step down from the comforts and perfectness of heaven, to be with us in our imperfect, sinful world.

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