1 See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; 3 he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years. 5 Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be swift to bear witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts. 6 For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, have not perished.
© Lee Self
I wish I had less to get done. I wish I had more time and energy. I wish I could spend more time with my good friends. I wish I could spend more time with family. I wish the presents would wrap themselves. (I have lots of fun buying and giving them but not so much wrapping them.) I wish Santa Claus had his own holiday separate from Baby Jesus. I wish the story of Jesus coming into the world had its’ own place without all the chaos of gift giving. I wish it was as simple for me to say “Yes” to God as Mary makes it seem.
Because for Mary it was a love story. In love stories emotions are heightened and stronger than in normal times. Wait. Maybe that’s it…it’s the beginning of a love story for us all and that’s why this time of year is so full and festive and chaotic and crazy!
This time of year we’re remembering and counting down the days until the child is born who will love us all more than any other ever could. This child that is coming into the world will be offering us a kind of love that exceeds any love that ever existed before or after. From this one tiny baby will come a love that is unconditional and transforming and beyond our ability to really grasp. It is beyond anything we really understand. But for this one moment, as it first begins, in the love of a mother and her new born child, in this brief time we grasp just a little how much God really loves us. How much we are really worth to God. And my greatest wish of all is that we could hold on to that tiny little hand, that small spark of understanding, all year long.