Friday, December 12, 2008

Big Miracles

Tenth Advent Reading

She wrapped him in a blanket
and laid him in a manger…

Luke 2:7a

God shows up at the oddest and most unexpected times. Once, at the heart of a difficult time I was the accompanist for a worship service where there were intentional times of silence. All day, in very psalm like fashion, I had been asking God to show up in a powerful, awesome way and perform the spectacular miracle that would end my sea sickness. Now, silently sitting at the piano I again prayed my week’s long big miracle prayer. In the stillness came a quiet voice, “But I came as a baby.”

God’s promised people had waited a long time for the Messiah. Their hopes rested on the big miracle, a Messiah that would rescue them from the tremendous weight of persecution and genocide. When the Messiah came they would be redeemed and reclaim their rightful place as the people of God. Perhaps they anticipated that, despite prophecy concerning a child, the Messiah would just “appear” ready for battle.

But, of course, it wasn’t just the baby that was the issue. When Jesus comes into his ministry his intentions become clear. He is not and will not be a life-rescuer. Instead he is a Messiah that calls people to a life-change. Those waiting for their Messiah rescuer never thought that anything would be required of them personally.

Our circumstances may not change but there will be a big miracle because of the birth of a baby. When we allow ourselves to be changed from the inside out how we live in and experience the difficulties will look different. Instead of being sea sick we’ll be riding the crest of the wave.
God, thank you for showing up with your
big miracle of changing me
from the inside out.

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