I grew up in Southern Idaho, a mile and a half from a small, ancient volcano that had blown a hole in the side of itself. “Tens of thousands of years ago,” they said. Mother even decorated parts of our yard with ancient volcanic rock. And when we three boys dug around we’d swear we’d find dinosaur eggs – rocks that had to have been! They were shaped just like what you’d think. (Only the latter evidence here is suspect.)
Idaho: The Gem State. Southern Idaho: the place where Yellowstone’s hot spot used to be, millions of years ago they say.
There was also a road sign on Highway 25, one of those historical markers, that talked about Prehistoric Man and ancient fossils. You’d face north east when you’d read the sign, out toward “Hunt”, a desolate, ancient desert wilderness filled with sagebrush and antelope.
I remember thinking as a small boy
What happens to the concept of God’s holy justice (that God always needs to punish the sin of the sinner or someone in place of the sinner) when Jesus teaches to “forgive seventy times seven?”
Is God bound to “an eye for an eye”?
What would have happened if 2,000 years ago, Mary the Mother of Jesus had denied the message sent to her? What if her heart was not prepared to receive it? What if, in her troubled state when the angel first visits with her (Luke 1) she disbelieves instead of anticipates?
Thankfully, I do not have to be concerned with the “what if’s” for Mary. Her example lays enshrined in history. Her response was faithful and nurtured by anticipation and hope.
What about my own hope and anticipation? What if God is today desiring to cause life from himself to take root within my soul? How might my soul be prepared to anticipate, receive and obey in faithfulness?
I’m a fan of this time of year. The immediate permission for nostalgia and tradition are a couple of my favorite things. This inclination is amplified by both my boys growing old enough to understand and anticipate some “Christmas” things.
This picture caught my attention: (It comes from http://xkcd.com/988/)
Questions I have:
- Why aren’t there “Christmas Classics” in more recent years?
- Do we see a similar tradition-tilt toward any specific generation in other arenas in life (like church)?
- Is Christmas (for so many of us) hardly much more than a celebration of our own childhood rather than about the Advent of King Jesus?