18 December 2018

Where Are You Christmas ~ The Middle of the Story

Happy Christmas Dear Reader,

One of the necessary things in the quest for Christmas is perspective.  We have to understand what we are seeking.  One cannot pursue that which he knows not of.  One cannot seek a treasure unless they understand what that treasure is. 

Ponder that we celebrate the birth of Christ.  We celebrate the joy of a savior born in a cattle shed to the herald of angels and adoration of kings and commoners.  We decorate and sing the songs.  What we know is that the surface joy is fleeting.  The middle of the story is sobering and violent.

If one is to seek Christmas one must consider that the wooden manger leads to the wooden cross.  The heralding angels with the shepherds return to comfort the boy, now a man in the garden as he weeps.  Jesus’ next encounter with a king is to be condemned and sent back to his death.  The elements of the Christmas story all remind us of the coming Passover story.

At the heart of the joy of Christmas is the joy of salvation.  At the core of this new life is a death that will benefit all humans everywhere.  As I said, however, that is the middle of the story.  That is where we see Aslan stretched out on the great stone table and the joy and hope seems misplaced.  It is where we see Gandalf slip into the abyss with the Balrog and think him lost forever.  We are after the cross but before the return. 

We have only promises and faith to carry us through.  We have not yet seen Aslan on the move.  We have not encountered Gandalf the White transformed.  We have not seen the God-Man mounted on his charger coming back to claim us all.  It feels so painful and soul shattering.  We are in just the middle of the story.

We have to look beyond Christmas to find it.  We have to see the cross.  We have to see the coming death.  Like his mother, I think we forget who it is that lays in the manger.  We fail to see the whole picture because the middle hurts us.  When seeking Christmas, I must remember that we are in the middle of the story.

I must see it as the joyful beginning of a dangerous quest.  There will be blood and death before it is over.  There will also be death being turned into a fighting chance to live.  That is the treasure past the blood.  That is the hope and joy that abides.

Where are you Christmas?  You are in the knowledge that you are the beginning of a great story that is meant for us all.  You are in the cradle, cross, tomb, and resurrection.  You are in the constant unfolding of the story that continues to rush toward the second Advent.  So, I ask with those who wonder, Mary did you know and Dear Reader, do you know?  Do you see the story as it unfolds and can we perhaps find joy in knowing how it ends, even in the midst of the pain?  Tell me what you think. 

Mary, Did you Know – Pentatonix

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God

Mary, did you know, Mary did you know, Mary did you know

The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb

Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I AM

Mary, did you know, Mary did you know, Mary did you know

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
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