Monday, December 19, 2011

A Christmas Reflection at the Edge
At the Edge we see Thee most clearly.  Weddings, birth of a child, graduations are among the many edge experiences where our vision of God gains a modicum of clarity.  I know in my soul that God is in me and through me, around me and beyond me.  Yet it is at the edges of my life where I see Thee most clearly.
A recent watching of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens reminded me of the edge experiences.  Scrooge is visited by a ghost, Marley.  He travels with the three spirits of Christmas; past, present and future.  Scrooge is made aware that Tiny Tim’s life is so fragile as to be in question.  Scrooge is confronted on his relationship with the poor who live on the fringe of life as he knows it.  
This fascinating tale is strewn with edge experiences.  Scrooge is made a spectator by the three spirits.  However, his journey to the edges is actually an invitation to transformation.  At the edges, more than Scrooge’s vision is changed.  
You and I are invited this Christmas season to travel to the edge of life, to the place where Jesus is born.   It is not an invitation to be a spectator.  Spectators stay in the back of the church and watch the journey of others.  You and I are invited up front to worship Jesus and to be changed, saved, healed.   The invitation is not to scare you.  Rather it is an edge experience found in a cradle of new life.
Imagine your Christmas morning following a journey of such magnitude.  No gift beneath the tree will compare.  All gifts will have more meaning.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Surprising Blessings

Today, a friend of mine delivered some Christmas cheer.  Actually it was a birthday present, for a 9 year old, who lived in a trailer, and whose parents had no money for cake and presents.  He wanted to deliver a cake but ended up getting a present - somebody else took care of the cake.  
My friend was not that cheery about making the delivery.  So hard to determine if the one asking for help was actually in need of help or working the system.  He didn’t know this family.  The amount needed was so slight that it seemed not worth the paper work and phone calls to round up the sum of money.  But he kept thinking of the little girl and her birthday and well you know.  He just went and bought the gift and delivered it.  Maybe it was the guilt that both made up his mind and hardened his heart as he drove to the trailer park.
Handing off the gift to the mom did not clarify the situation.  Could go either way - need or scam.  As he climbed into his vehicle, the birthday girl rode up on her bike from school.  Watching how eagerly she was bounding up the trailer stairs, the same stairs he trudged up a minute earlier, he knew he had done the right thing.  And what a treat to arrive early enough she need never know who brought the gift and on time to see the recipient.  Yep - he did a sports celeb point to the sky.  Touchdown!
And again, a giver was blessed beyond measure ... and this time quite by surprise!