Whatever Christmas finally ends up meaning, I describe it for instance as; "A religious feast which has gotten entirely out-of-hand", the thing is (actually) a birth-day. Tolkien got a lot "right' with his mighty-good tale, but his telling of "who" gives, is indeed clever and wholesome.
Your birthday present, received from the rather elderly (two thousand and some-odd) yet stridently vital, Captain of the hosts, is worth memory, worth thanks.
It was about this time of year, between Christmas and New Years. . . He found me thirty four years ago. The present, the gift was that I called (to Him) and He heard! He reached into my mid-section, and moved something in there. It was an alarming and deeply, deeply strange plumbing job. My phrasing; "He monkeyed-with my guts", is not all that noble-sounding in that, indeed "I received a new heart", but the gift is "the thing", not so much the description thereof.
So, why am I surprised to open this year's gift from our aged-young Champion? He "keeps" the feast, and as Master thereof, provides the meat and wine.
Now, I thought (a few weeks ago) that by "peeking" I could rightly discern what this year's birthday gift might be. Perhaps (you see?) by observing the "shape" of the package, you might be able to tell what is inside? Too small for a BB gun, too many legs for a bazooka, (do they still make those?). Well, you get the drift, and I had concluded, "It's likely a covenant-based, "faith thing", to the effect that shouting at hillsides begins making sense". . . you see?
We haven't the time here to explain that last quip; but my guess was both right and wrong. No Sir! This year's birthday present does not "build-upon" an old gift. . . it's brand new!
The Master of the feast has given me a quite remarkable thing(!). . . for His birthday. Without bludgeoning you with goo and sentiment, waxing not mawkish nor maudlin. . . it's. . . love! This year's birthday gift might best be summed up in "the" prayer. . . (gosh, I love that rascal!). At heart, at the center of the asking is the poem-like:
Daily, our bread - grant to us,
Daily, our sin - forgive us,
AS, we are (indeed!) forgiving. . . them!
Quick survey here, is anyone out there "opposed" (in principle) to feeling good? With diet , exercise, and a bite of good grub, is it "allowed" to be strong, vital and healthy? Life (physical), potency, the confidence, y'know, that glad-stride, if you'd like that, what if you find that? "Give us bread". . . what if He is the "true-bread", the health-giver. . . In Person?
Or, hows about that whole peace in the household thing? Don't you want your Mom or Dad to really say once, "I'm just so damned proud of you, my son!"? What if all the "dysfunction" really-is washed away? If forgiven indeed, don't you "want to" be glad about it, to enjoy your Dad's treasuring-of. . . you? "Forgive us (Papa) our (daily) sin!". What if it turns out that He is the Lamb of sacrifice, The Priest sprinkling us (to truly cleanse!) and what if He be the One treasuring His newly found lamb? Oh, to experience it!
But, the "push", the "go", is "in" our (deeply) glad participation. A full tilt sprint. . . to "catch" Him! Drop. . . every. . . "concern". Drop it like a bag of sand. Focus. . . "see" Him. . . He's just ahead of us! Every grudge, every slight, EVERY stupid petty complaint, it ALL hits the ground (might as well face it), when you die; in any case. See? He invites us to die-before, we die! No other "loyalty". . . survives the grave! But, He does, and better yet, His blastedly good loving does.
If "it's all about" righteousness, then it's all about covenantal ethic. And if it's all about The Ethic, then it's all about love. . . just precisely "where" I'm doubly damned! Me, both un-willing, and unable, to love. What if you called today to Him, "Make me have the "want-to". . . to love"? And what if He heard?
Friend, you'd have yourself one mighty fine Christmas present (early!) there!
Happy birhtday, King Yeshua. . . Long live the King! Son of God, receive my gratitude? Amen! Say better of Him, with me, "Son of God"? Damnstraight! Yes!, But never never forget God, The Son!
I'm all ears over here, go Man go!