Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of December 15, 2013
- Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of December 15, 2013
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As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
"Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed. Thank you
for forwarding this to your friends.
Ten days before Christmas
"And may our God make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Creator at the coming of our Saviour Jesus with all his saints."
1 Thessalonians 3:12, 13The Christmas season has long been profaned by commercialism. Every year it seems we are bombarded earlier and earlier with advertising, urging us to buy more and not less. By now, most people are shopping in earnest. Great shopping sprees often make it easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas. As we dash about buying gifts, we often forget the babe born in a manger had no crib for his bed.
Not everyone is in the shopping frame of mind however. Surrounding us are many families who routinely lack food and clothing. Homeless and domestic violence shelters are full of people who understand the deeper meaning of Christmas better than the more affluent. They understand the first Christmas was one borne out of desperation and poverty.
The birth of Jesus occurred in urgent and physically dirty circumstances. There was no room in the inn, the old beloved Christmas story tells us. Mary's labor could not be ignored. The unborn child was going to be born without the able assistance of midwives or an attending physician. Joseph did the best he could and found a crude and drafty shelter for his laboring wife.
The sweet baby Jesus was born among the animals in the manger, among manure and straw. There was no profaning commercialism that first Christmas. God's most enriching gift to the world was born among the poor and the homeless and the dumb animals.
For this Christmas, do not get caught up in the commercialism and obsess about finding expensive gifts. The best gifts cannot be bought. The best gifts are love, time together, and deep caring relationships. In other words, the best gifts come from the heart.
Imagine your own pilgrimage to Bethlehem for that first Christmas so long ago. Linger in the wonderful Bible stories about this amazing child who came to be God among us, Emmanuel.
Consider sharing the true joy of Christmas with the lonely ones around us, people without families, forgotten people in nursing homes and homeless shelters. Reach out with a strong sense of caring and community.
Through the remainder of the holiday season, pray for your love to increase and overflow for others. Give many gifts from your heart this year. As you do, you will discover the message of the Holy Child of Bethlehem still resonates throughout the world.
Yes, God, increase my love, let it overflow to others around me this Christmas. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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