A Not-So-Grand Entrance
By Gary Piper of Fort Gratiot, MI, USA
“Shout and be glad, Jerusalem. I am coming, and I will live among you,” says the LORD.” —Zechariah 2:10 NCV
True to his word, Jesus, born a baby in Bethlehem, made a not-so-grand entrance into the world. And now, years later, the spirit of Zechariah’s prophecy continues to live in the heart of anyone who hungers for a relationship with God.
I was in my mid 20s when Jesus made a not-so-grand entrance in my life. I celebrated his birth by rehearsing the Christmas story, hanging festive decorations, and exchanging gifts. But, only later did the birth of Jesus slowly begin to take place in my heart. The Christmas season is a time of reflection, a time of searching, a time of anticipation, a time of readjusting priorities. I find myself hungering for a deeper relationship with Jesus.
In recent weeks, I have been asking some questions I had not previously considered: How am I getting in touch with the longing within me? In what new ways can Jesus’ birth over 2,000 years ago have a positive impact on my life today and into the future? How can I prepare myself to re-experience his coming into my life this year? In what ways am I being invited to trust more deeply? In what ways does his coming in the midst of the darkness in our world light my path? In what ways can I renew my life and commitment to God so I can be prepared to greet him when he comes again?
I am not sure whether those questions, or similar ones, are on your mind this year, but over the course of my life I have come to the rock-solid conclusion that “this Jesus stuff is the ultimate stuff of life”! So please join me as, together with the Holy Spirit, we dig deeply into how Jesus’ birth impacts our lives. Will we answer all questions? I suspect not, but it is in the seeking that Jesus will impact our lives.
Come, Lord Jesus! Come into our lives as we anticipate re-experiencing your not-so-grand entrance into the world one more time. Come, O Lord.
Christmas Prayer Phrase
I ponder the mystery being born in me.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Spend a few moments dwelling in God’s presence. Pay attention to where your heart feels drawn into prayer. What words, images, or themes in this story lead you to reflect on your own faith journey? What is God’s invitation to you this day?