Saturday, December 31, 2016



One of the scriptures I reread and review often in my mind is the first part of the 10th verse of the 46th Psalm. Be still and know that I am God.

As I have pondered on the relationship between quiet contemplation and coming to know God it seems obvious that the hustle, bustle and rowdiness which dominate our lives and most celebrations have a definite tendency to push our minds toward thinking about or knowing everything but God.

There are few who, while sitting in a jam-packed screeching stadium on a Sunday afternoon, ever have contemplative thoughts about Deity pass through their minds. Perhaps sometimes a blasphemic phrase might be uttered, but I don’t think that is what the Psalmist had in mind. It seems that while dancers are being deafened by decibels unknown to man, they will seldom take pause to ponder upon the reality of Eternal Beings. Sadly, this antithetical celebrating seems most evident as we approach and then commemorate the birth of the Son of God.

I wonder as we crowd into the confusion surrounding Black Friday Weekend how often will we pause to think of Joseph and Mary trying to find room in an inn of crowded Bethlehem? Will we be so occupied in getting that last stuffed talking thing before they are all taken that we are kept from pondering upon them finding refuge in a grotto stable? How often do we pause and try to grasp the irony which surrounds us, as we forget to keep His Day Holy, elbowing our way around the mall on the third day of that weekend rather than occupying a pew in a nearby chapel, in order to buy that last electronic devise which will be another instrument which will occupy our minds and distract us from contemplating Divinity?

I wonder as we scamper, strain and struggle to staple strings of lights to the highest peaks or while trimming the tree or arranging the Christmas village are we reminded of that wondrous star which pointed the way to the Prince of Peace? Do worries about burned out bulbs or broken ornaments or missing pieces so distract us that we are unable to concentrate on the testimony born by that heavenly body on that silent, holy night? Do I reflect upon how I have rejected His guidance in the past and deliberate on diligent dedication to that task in the future?

I wonder as we rush about trying to make the house spotless to assure a comfortable and pleasant stay for the fast approaching arrival of family and friends if we consider the conditions of that most Holy Family as Mary labored to bring Immanuel into mortality? As we see one more cabinet to dust or one more closet to straighten do we allow our minds to momentarily meditate on the mission of that newborn Babe?

I wonder as we fill our days with shopping, wrapping, more shopping, finding room to hide and store purchases, more shopping, more wrapping and tending to every stressful detail are we ever suspended in awe as were those angelically entertained humble shepherds in that quiet field so long ago? As I look at my contrasting abundance and multiple instruments of entertainment do I ever deliberate the truth that these blessings exist because He exists? Do I suspend my scurrying long enough to evaluate the extremeness of my blessings? Am I so blinded by the blissfulness which often attends the buying of the glittering and gleaming that I am distracted from pausing to give grateful tribute to Him from who all light flows?

I wonder as we try to enter the living room overflowing with gifts on Christmas morn do our minds contemplate the coming of the Wise Men to that humble family bearing their gifts fit for the King of Kings?
As we rip the paper from package after package do we pause even momentarily to remember Him who brought the greatest of gifts to all mankind? Do I, even for a few seconds appraise and marvel the opening of salvation brought by my Savior?

I wonder as we turn our kitchens into arenas of culinary excellence do we consider the meager repast Mary and Joseph partook of as the Child lay in a manger and the cattle lowed? As we partake of the abundant feast, piling our plate once and again, do we ponder on the poverty which surrounded the Promised Redeemer as He came into the world, to save the world? Does my appreciation for who He is and what He did increase in harmony with the swelling of my feast fed frame?

It seems evident that those same deafening distractions which hamper our contemplation of Jesus the Christ during the celebrating of His birth are also found throughout the year. If we do not conscientiously seek those silent times and places in our lives, we can easily forget Him and how much we should love and appreciate His life, mission and saving sacrifice.

I pray that during this harried season and throughout the year we will seek moments when we will be silent and search out the Savior; be calm and contemplate upon the grandeur of the Lord; Be still and know that He is God!

Scriptures: 2 Thessalonians 3:16, Isaiah 57:19, James 3:18, Isaiah 14:7, Isaiah 32:18, 1 Peter 3:4



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