If we stumble on our doubt sometimes, does that mean we aren’t blessed? No. But, consider it to be a blessing when faith is strong. We recognize that there are seasons in our faith lives. Sometimes, our faith may be as solid as the ground that we stand upon. Then, there are times when faith feels like a cliff that we hang on to by our fingertips. Yet, take comfort: it is still faith.
This season is a reminder that “we are children, not of the slave but of the free woman. For freedom in Christ has set us free.” Whether we are old or young, we are all children that have been set free by Christ.
Whenever God comes to the world in childish form, imagination runs wild…stars, donkeys, angels, shepherds, wise men, you name it…everyone and everything is in the elaborate punch line. We all laugh. It would be rude not to. The joke, it seems, is always on us. Thanks be to God.
To be ready for Christ when he comes, our hearts must first be prepared for him. This is why the church originally celebrated the season of Advent before the season of Christmas—four weeks of preparation, candle-lighting, and quiet anticipation, followed by twelve days of feast and joyous celebration: the famous twelve days of Christmas.
The idea of God’s hand resting on us, through the saving grace of Jesus Christ, is a powerful image. It brings to mind the stories of Jesus’s hand reaching out to Peter over the waters, and Thomas’s insistence on seeing the nail marks on his Savior’s hands before he would believe.
Indeed, looking up to see the heavens on a moonless night sky and seeing the Milky Way drape itself across the firmament is something I should do more often. Perhaps the shepherds were doing just that very thing one night in the fields near Bethlehem.