Monday, December 24, 2012

Secret And Sacred

As most of you are aware, the world was supposed to end last Friday on December 21, 2012. This thinking was connected to the ending of the Mayan calendar which some assumed was a secret sign of some sort that the Mayans had figured out centuries ago. Many scientists, astronomers, astrologers and everyday folk have sought to unlock the mysteries of ancient civilizations and discover the secrets of how they lived and what they believed. People are always looking for the next big event! As we approach Christmas Day there was a big event that took place not with fanfare but in quietness and holiness. The professors at my alma mater Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary put together a devotional for the Advent season. One entry in particular caught my attention. It was written by Dr. Peter Kuzmic and focused on preparations for the last celebration Jesus had with His disciples before His crucifixion. Dr. Kuzmic pointed out how "Jesus undertakes several measures of precaution and makes secret arrangements to avoid premature arrest and have privacy for the last and most significant meal with His disciples." Dr. Kuzmic made the point in his devotional that even in the midst of all the chaos and turmoil surrounding Jesus that night, He is always in control and will make provision to spend time of intimate fellowship with those He loves. As I was meditating on this devotional it occurred to me that God at times moves in secret to draw us into the sacred. Jesus drew His disciples into the sacredness and intimacy of that last meal. Likewise when Jesus was born, it was not accompanied by a grand birth announcement to the world but to shepherds watching their flocks by night. (Luke 2:8-15) In the secrecy of Jesus' birth, the shepherds were drawn into the sacredness of that moment, even as the slaughter of boys age 2 and under was happening at the same time per Herod's decree. (Matthew 2:16) God wants to quietly draw each of us into that sacred space in our hearts so we can experience anew the power and the presence of the One who came to redeem us from our sins. Even as the world is in a state of chaos and people are scrambling to get those last minute gifts before the stores close, a baby's cry is once again breaking through the noise. Can you stop long enough to hear it? Can you be quiet enough to enter into the sacred? Can you like Mary treasure up the good news of Christ's birth and ponder it in your heart? (Luke 2:19) I pray that this will be your heart's desire this Christmas season.
Pastor Sheree

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