The Wandering Desert Monk

The Wandering Desert Monk

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Advent IV - God claims your ragged edged life

One of the features of the Christmas story is how God takes ordinary things of life and turns them into serendipities of divine glory.

The story begins with Joseph and Mary taking a journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem on a donkey. A donkey? A beast of burden? Donkeys do not fare well in the Hebrew Scriptures. The most famous one is used by God to make fool of a man who is supposed to be doing God’s work. This story is famously known as “Balaam’s Ass.” A few years ago, my uncle, Rev. John Schmidt, wrote his life story. He titled it, “The Lord’s Donkey.” God uses a donkey to carry the Lord of heaven and earth to his place of birth.

The Christmas story ends in a smelly stable used by a family to keep their animals safe from the Palestinian weather. A stable? Who gives birth to their child in a stable? Why does the God of heaven choose to enter human history in the humblest of circumstances?

Maybe God could use you, a person who society makes fun of, calls crass names, ignores or throws their wares on to bear the Good News. Maybe God could use your humble home, your old car, your humble workplace as a place to show up and display his glory.

Christmas is God’s story of how God specializes in identifying with those whose lives are on the ragged edge. Maybe you think you are not anyone that would be acceptable or useful to God. God want to claim your life and circumstances to reveal his glory. Christmas is God entering into your ragged-edged life.

Ronald Friesen © 2016

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