holy holy holy

Love Came Down

If you pay good heed to the angel's words
Rise up, shepherd and follow
You'll forget your flocks, you'll forget your herds
Rise up, shepherd and follow

Here I am at the second week of Advent, and I've made a bit of progress on my initial issue - this seems like a simple lyric, but there's a message in here. Stop what you're doing, because something important is happening. For the shepherds this meant it might cost them a career to see a miracle. For me this means I'm still thinking about my over-achieving atmosphere. My fiance keeps bringing to mind an important phrase - we're not human doings.

I'm thinking of actually taking a fairly extended vacation this Christmas. No work and no pressure to work for about two weeks. This may sound normal to most people, but it's actually very foreign to me, and more than a little scary. I'm actually terrible at taking time off, terrible at relaxing. I am fine at procrastinating to a point, but I still often get things done by the deadline. Case in point, I just finished my business website, Admire Studios, and I'm really happy about the way the launch went. I only have two projects left to finish and I'm pretty sure I can finish nearly all of that tomorrow. So I'm going to do my best to follow the advice about leaving my flocks and coming to see the miracle of Christmas.

This week's Advent theme is Love. I am currently in love. I love many people. I try to love people I might consider as enemies, or even people I just have trouble liking. I do my best. But every time I try to put the love of God into perspective I am left in awe of the magnitude of such a gift. My fiance and I have an ocean of love for each other and it's unfathomable. Deeper still, to an infinite amount, is God's love. Christmas is such a great gift to see that love through.

And yet this year I find myself noticing the darker side of the events surrounding the incarnation of God into a human body. There is deception, murder - infanticide in fact, and the main characters must flee for their lives to a foreign country. There is an unwed pregnant mother's fear of community, her husband's fear of losing his honor without deserving the loss, the shepherd's fear that they will lose their livelihoods, there is a town packed so full that the only place left to give birth is an animal enclosure - a cave, most likely. It's not a pretty picture. It doesn't tell us that obedience means a picture-perfect life. But it does offer hope and a love so deep it transcends the ordinary life and brings God's favor down on us from that moment on.

Emmanuel has come to dwell among us, in the midst of this mess. God is with us, and his favour rests here.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Has come to make you new
This child that you delivered
Will soon deliver you
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