A Faint Cry in the Cold Wind
“The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down.” -Psalm 146: 8b
We are now in the thick of the Christmas season. By the time you are reading this, your house has probably transitioned from being perfumed by pumpkin spice and the tantalizing smell of stovetop dressing to the strong mixture of real or artificial pine and the crisp smell of cinnamon apples. That is if you are not a bachelor; ladies are the ones who tend to pay attention to seasonal smells and men often simply benefit passively.
It may seem superficial or cliché at this point but we still have to pause and remember the reason for the season. The hustle-and-bustle of Christmas shopping and adorning our homes and sanctuaries with wreathes and lights quickly tramples over the slow, family oriented nature of Thanksgiving. The transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas in our culture has been all but erased by stores opening earlier and early on Friday until they now steal away even the tiniest moments of family reflection and laughter on Thursday afternoon. Before the tryptophan of the turkey has us v-lining for the couch, we are all suited up standing in line outside of Wal-Mart, or any other big box retailer, hoping the cool air will give us a second wind for shopping.
The all be eradicated gap of Thanksgiving to Christmas can also serve as the perfect time to reset our priorities. In biblical fashion, Christians are not called to divided allegiances but sole allegiance, not one among many, but one primary priority, “but seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
Advent is a time where the witnesses of salvation history collectively hold their breath. Into the void of barrenness and hopelessness God moves mightily in the form of a defenseless baby in the chilly night air with only animals for comfort and company while everyone else is too busy to notice. May it not be said of us this season that we are too busy to hear the not so faint cries of our broken world echoed by the infantile cries of our enfleshed Savior.
Lord help us to cancel out the noise and hype of consumerism to marvel on our knees at the sight of a sacrificial lamb born to us and for us.