December is a curious mix of joy, wonder, and stress. During this season of paying attention to how God is with us we are distracted by wish lists, calendars, requests, inboxes, and to-do lists that overflow.
Yesterday the 4th grade class read Luke 1:67–79, where Zechariah (John the Baptist’s father) thanks God for a savior who has not yet been born. Roman rule was harsh at the time of Jesus’ birth. Given the title “Caesar,” rulers were considered gods who expected total allegiance. They governed more by force and power than justice, love and peace. As Christians we place our hope in God who is just, loving, kind, and deeply concerned for those who struggle. Our hope comes from God who dared to be present as a powerless infant with those who were oppressed by the powers that governed.
After reading the Bible, the 4th grade class created a list of things and activities that were important to them, then discussed whether any of these things had too much importance in their lives. In the time in which we live it is our schedules and possessions which often demand our allegiance. While we are grateful for toys and activities that we enjoy, Jesus’s birth, life, death, and resurrection show us why Christ is worthy of being most important in our lives. As Zechariah sang,
“Because of our God’s deep compassion, the dawn from heaven will break upon us, to give light to those who are sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide us on the path of peace.”
May the the light of Jesus Christ illuminate what matters most in this season of preparing.