It’s interesting that many of the prophecies of God’s coming Messiah originate in times of suffering. When things were going well for God’s people, it seems, they had no need to imagine a better world,
even though their actions were bringing suffering and oppression on others. It was only when suffering came on the whole nation that God’s people began to dream of a world of justice and peace. The Psalms are a case in point – the people who have suffered defeat, now plead for God’s presence and salvation. Before their defeat, they were happy to ignore the warnings of the prophets and seek protection in wealth, power and human alliances.
Christmas reminds us of these readings from the Old Testament in order keep us from making the same mistakes. Rather than try to do things in our strength and wisdom, Christmas reminds us that we always
need God’s presence and salvation – even in the good times. Then this season calls us to the work of mindfulness and heart preparation in order to stay connected with God’s presence and grace.
One of the ways that Christmas calls us to mindfulness is through the reading of Scripture. When we learn from those who have gone before us – both in joy and in suffering – we are able to stay aware and follow the call of God’s Spirit more easily. Today, allow the Scriptures to heighten your awareness of God’s presence and salvation.
As you display your glory around me, O God, teach me to stay alert and mindful of your presence.