A little boy in a Christmas play was playing one of the wise men. He bounced across the stage as if he were riding a camel, bowed to Mary, Joseph, and the Christ-Child, and then announced…
“We are the wise men. We bring precious gifts of gold, circumstance, and mud.”
Gold, circumstance, and mud?? When we think about that little boy’s narrative faux pas it pretty well describes the human condition (at least in the western world), doesn’t it? We are enmeshed in materialism, which all but chokes to death the breath of the holy-day spirit; we are victimized by circumstances which are so often far different from what we had hoped or imagined; and we have been spattered with the mud of divisions, injustices, war, loneliness, human trafficking, and despair smear the good intentions of our better selves. Gold, circumstance, and mud…
In this grand dichotomy of conflicting feelings during this holy-day season how can we reorient ourselves to enjoy the season a take hold of Advent Peace, Joy, Hope, and Love?
- We can release our fears afresh.
“And the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people.’” –Luke 2:10
“Even when walking through the dark valley of death I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way.” –Psalm 23:4
- We can renew our faith in the ultimate goodness of God.
“And the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people.” –Luke 2:10
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” –Psalm 136:1
- We can receive God’s forgiveness–again.
“For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” –Luke 2:11
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” –1 John 1:9
- We can reconcile relationships.
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” –Romans 12:18