Advent Devotionals #1 — The True Story of Christmas
The Lord is my shepherd, I will lack nothing…
What is the true story of Christmas? It almost seems like there are two competing stories. We read about the Christmas story of Conception, but we experience the Christmas story of Consumption! We read about the invasion of God’s presence into the reality of life on earth, but we experience the invasion of Black Friday presents that flow from the myth of more. (If we just had more then we would be happy.)
Now please understand, I’m not against gift-giving or good-shopping. I drove my family to Target on Thanksgiving. I browsed the aisles of Amazon. I gazed lovingly at the espresso machines on ebay. Yet the heart of Christmas does not pulse with presents, but presence. This is the true story of Christmas.
The last few days my mind has been leaning into the first line of David’s Psalm, (Click the link above to read the whole Psalm) “The Lord is my shepherd, I will lack nothing.” If the Lord is my shepherd I will lack nothing. If I have Jesus, I need nothing else. Now there’s a thought that might shed some light on black Friday! If I have Christ, I will lack nothing.
David is not suggesting that we will never go through hard times. He doesn’t believe that everything I want will be mine. He’s not saying, “I will never grieve, or fail, or be hurt.” In fact he says, “I know that I will go through hard, difficult, dark, shadow of death kind of days, but in those times we have everything we need for life, if we have God.”
There is a quote in one of St. Augustine’s books that gives a hint of St. Augustine’s Christmas wish list. “He who has God has everything. He who does not have God has nothing. He who has God and everything has no more than he who has God alone.”
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
If you could present your Christmas-wish list to God, what is #1, #2, and #3 on the list? If “more of God” isn’t #1 on the list what would it look like for you to move Him up?
Read Psalm 23 as a Christmas wish-list. What do we get when we get God?
Father, this Christmas season, I want more of you. Please open my eyes to your presence. Saturate my life and my community with your presence. Help me to be more aware of you and your goodness that pursues me. Show me what keeps me from you and give me the courage to break down all the walls. I love you. Thank you for coming to be with us. Amen
Take a moment and pray for one other person who needs more of God in their life.