Friday, December 3, 2010

The December Battle

I'm interrupting myself after only one installment of overcoming to bring you this special word:
If December makes you feel like this poor lady, you are not the only one. Every November, I promise myself that this Christmas will be different. I cheerfully declare that I will be organized, efficient, and full of expectant joy. And every December, despite my good intentions, I find a war wages within my breast. Two sides battle within me. Oh, the ferocity! The blood! The guts!

The exhaustion.

The side I root for is the one that gets goosebumps at the thought of Christ, flesh and blood, a precious baby, yet fully God, come to this earth to save all mankind. Oh, the thrill! The wonder! But the other side! Oh, the other side is in such a state. It is in a panic about all that must be accomplished before December 25th. It's almost enough to make me want to sleep the month of December away. It might be kind of fun to wake up in January and say, "So, how did December go?" 

There are moments that shine through the cookies and wrapping paper and blood and guts, though. This morning, the words of Job stilled the battle within, if only for a time. As Job sat in his poor little ash heap, having lost everything, he lamented bitterly, cursing the day he had been born. And then, speaking of himself and God, he said in chapter 9, "If only there were someone to mediate between us, someone to bring us together, someone to remove God's rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more."  

Poor Job! If only...if only. I can almost hear the longing in his voice and feel the pain in his soul! Job's deepest longing is our reality! This is what Christmas is.
The Nativity Story
Sweet Jesus. He is our mediator. He brings God and man together. We can approach God without terror. This is a most precious gift. "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men--the testimony given in its proper time." (1Timothy 2:5-6)

Be still within me, December battle.

 Zion's Daughter, weep no more,
though thy troubled heart be sore;
he of whom the Psalmist sung,
he who woke the Prophet's tongue,
Christ, the Mediator Blest,
brings thee everlasting rest.

In a garden man became
heir of sin, and death, and shame;
Jesus in a garden wins
life, and pardon for our sins;
through his hour of agony
praying in Gethsemane.

There for us he intercedes;
there with God the Father pleads;
willing there for us to drain
to the dregs the cup of pain,
that in everlasting day
he may wipe our tears away.

Therefore to his Name be given
glory both in earth and heaven;
to the Father, and the Son,
and the Spirit, Three in One,
honour, praise, and glory be
now and through eternity.

(from the Oremus Hymnal)


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