On this day after Christmas, I am sending my “weekend musings” two days late—on purpose! Why? So you can savor the precious weekend, continue singing the songs of Christmas, and find the blessings that God has given you for this year.
I want to share something from the Navajo Nation, actually from a wonderful place called NELM—Navajo Evangelical Lutheran Mission. They, along with many other churches, have reached out to our Navajo people without prejudice and with longing to right wrongs and give them a hope and future. Al and I have been up there and it is amazing! The church, the school, the medical clinic—because of so many who affirm this ministry the people in that area are finding the love of God and a hope they can hold on to.
I want to share something that came from their Christmas letter. May their words give you hope for the future and encouragement for your faith:
Our Mission: Rooted In The Hope of Mary … “In the first chapter of Luke, Mary sings a song of praise to God for all that is about to take place. Does she know what that is? What assurances has God given her? What will be the outcome of all she ponders in her heart?
My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor
on the lowliness of his servant…
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the
thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful
from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly.
(Luke 1, excerpts)
With a confident voice of gratitude, Mary somehow knows to sing about God’s accomplishments – without even mentioning her miraculous pregnancy (except to call it ‘favor’). Everything has radically changed for her; even so, she visions something yet more praiseworthy. She gives voice to what God will do, as though she knows the future.”
I find this so comforting. No, Mary didn’t really know the future but she knew who holds the future—the God she loves so much! Is this not truly the Christmas story? Did we “embrace our Christ Child, did we magnify Him on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? Did we realize His humility and great strength? Perhaps this was a tough Christmas for you, did you remember that Jesus lifts-up the lowly—those in need, those cast-out, those weary in life?
I hope today you take a short break and ponder like Mary did. What, in this Christmas, truly touched your heart? In the often rat-race of meals, presents, decorations, travel, etc., we don’t stop to ponder the real reason we do all this. Somehow it turns out about what we do, becomes the priority rather than what Jesus has done for us. It’s there we miss the words from the Navajo mission’s roots: “she gives voice to what God WILL DO…”
Friends and family—Christmas is God’s voice shouting out to the world letting us know what God has done and what God is continuing to do in the lives of His precious children. Are you one of them? Do you identify your roots in the hope of this incredible Lord? There is no other One to turn to! The gift of the Christ Child who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit—came down to give us presents that can never be bought and will never leave us. Instead, those gifts will always be in our hearts, souls, and minds on our journey of faith on this planet.
Sometimes the day after Christmas can be just eerily quiet; for some it’s a downer—so many emotions for different people. Let’s embrace the words of our Navajo friends, that we should magnify the Lord and rejoice in God our Savior at Christmas, the day after Christmas, and all year long. For our Lord has looked upon us with favor and lifted us UP…AMEN and AMEN.