It’s the Fifth Day of Christmas and we’re living into the Christmas story. In fact, that is the whole and sole purpose of any and all of the stories of the Bible: as we live into the stories and experiences of our lives, God is available to live into our story and our experience. The caveat is that God is not rude or intrusive, but waits to be invited.
As we saw in the Fourth Day of Christmas and the Massacre of Innocents, there is a messy and painful side of the mystery of God with us in Jesus Christ. I, for one, am grateful that Matthew and other Biblical writers don’t dodge this reality of this shadow side of life. There is a lot in our lives that is not safe and secure. The whole point of God taking on human flesh – the Incarnation – was precisely to be among us, to be in solidarity with all who suffer from the consequences of sin and death that abounds this side of eternity.
I love our Christmastide Scripture for today. It’s a reminder that when a savior is needed it’s because there is distress and someone is in trouble. God is personally interested and invested, never turning it over to a messenger or angel.
I will recount the gracious deeds of the Lord,
the praiseworthy acts of the Lord,
because of all that the Lord has done for us,
and the great favor to the house of Israel
that [God] has shown them according to [God’s] mercy,
according to the abundance of [God’s] steadfast love.
For [God] said, “Surely they are my people,
children who will not deal falsely”;
and [God] became their savior
in all their distress.
It was no messenger or angel
but [God’s] presence that saved them;
in [God’s] love and in [God’s] pity [God] redeemed them;
[God] lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. ~ Isaiah 63:7-9
How have you seen God at work when you have experienced hardship or suffering? What sort of distress might you consider turning over to God?
On this the Fifth Day of Christmas as I live into my Christmas story, may I be ever mindful that God is waiting and available to be part of my story too. Amen.