31 December 2011

Advent: Christmas Eve Knock on the Door

Perhaps for days, but certainly for hours prior to Mary delivering her son, Joseph knocked on door after door looking for a decent place for her to lay and deliver in comfort.  Inn after inn, door after door, his knocks proved futile -- there was no room unsold, reassigned, shareable, or available. Not even for a pregnant woman, clearly in labor.  Not even for the Messiah, not so easily recognizable. Oh Lord, they didnt know who YOU were! 
Luke 2: 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
When I hear this story and reflect on my pre-arranged delivery of my son in the state of the art birthing unit of a pretigious Southern California hospital,  I am humbled by a plethora of memories of gracious family, friends and strangers who buzzed around and busied themselves to make me comfortable and my delivery easy.  It is this same memory through which I bemoan, O Lord, they didnt know who You were!

God was knocking at their door! Okay, in defense of the Messiah’s arrival not being what they expected -- all military mighty instead of a mother’s moaning -- I could see why they lacked urgency to accommodate. Just Kidding.  Whether bearing the King of Kings or not, I am aggreieved that some inn keeper didn't give up their bed for a baby; or cancel a reservation of another paying customer to show kindness to a stranger -- in labor at that! Oh Lord, they didnt know who You were!

God was knocking at their door!  God is knocking at our door.  Appearing as a commoner, a woman without medical insurance, a man with unkept beard, smelly and groaning, in need of creature comforts of kindness, exhausted from obeying the laws of the land that are neither just or equitable, and pregnant with possibilites.  I am thinking, if with every knock on the door of our lives we open up expecting God in some form, even when not fancy, what grace might we experience?  God comes to our address, this Advent again; daily with the dawn; and anew with each encounter we have with one another.  

Looking forward to the Christ of the Morning and Advent of 2012, listen for God-knocks and welcome God in -- the time comes that the Christ is delivered!

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