The underlying dynamics that led to the revelation of miracles centuries ago are still, very much, present. During Hanukkah and the Nativity of Messiah, people were facing the drama of the day. In Jerusalem, the priests occupied with the task of rededicating the Holy Temple. In Bethlehem, shepherds keeping their sheep amidst an influx of people.
In both cases, the priests and the shepherds had to look past their circumstance and say, “Look what we’ve found!” The priests, oil. The shepherds, a child. In both cases, light – one pointing to the other. Both priests and shepherds (the high and low of that society), inspired by heaven, look beyond their immediate concerns, look past the rubble, past the scene of birth, to the miracle present.
As we approach the days to come – some celebrating light, others celebrating the light – we must also look past our circumstance: long lines, endless or lack of supply, family struggles, loneliness, unavoidable disappointment, etc., – to the miracle present.
It’s hard to look past the debris of mercantilism that this season has become to a darkened world, yet beneath the boxes, paper and debt, there is a miracle, light – light overcoming darkness. Whether a small flask of holy oil, or a vulnerable child – miracles always have humble beginnings – they make us look – beyond ourselves, beyond our circumstance, to heaven, not high above us, but right before us.
I pray in this season that you be someone’s light beneath the clutter of life and circumstance. May you be the face of a miracle sent by heaven to say, Immanuel – God is with us, still.
Our hope. The light. Our Immanuel.
Praying a meaningful, I mean, miraculous season for you, it has meaning enough already.
In Messiah’s love;
Dr. Justin Elwell