Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Eve Devotional

Luke 22:50-51:  Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear.  But
Jesus said, ‘No more of this!’ And he touched his ear and healed him.  

On Christmas Eve, we close our eyes, and we can imagine what it would have been like to have been standing in a stable, in a dark corner, watching as Mary held her newborn son.  Perhaps Joseph kneels near them, held speechless in the amazement that parents feel when a child arrives. We can imagine the love shared between the three of them, and it surrounds us, filling us with joy. As we watch, we are humbled by the realization that God has come into the world because of that love.  What have we done to earn this love?  It is no wonder that grace is described as amazing.

Then we read the words of Luke 22:50-51.  Even in the moment of betrayal, the love expressed in a stable is made evident.   In the slice of the sword, can we hear the echo of the weapons used to kill the young infant sons in the time of Jesus’ birth?  In Jesus’ gentle touch to restore the slave, can we feel the brush of a father’s hand against his son’s newborn cheek?  In the power of healing, can we remember Jesus love made manifest in his incarnation?   Jesus not only loves us, but he also models for us what love is, and how love acts.

Our world is not a quiet stable.  It is more like the world of the garden, when betrayal and fear threatened to overcome love.  What is our response in a world such as this?  Will we respond to hatred with hatred?  Violence with violence?  Or will we offer what has been offered to us?  Will we offer what Jesus offered to the slave of the high priest?  When we respond with healing – the love of Christ – all of us are made whole.  Consider today who in your life needs the healing touch of Christ through you.

Prayer:  Creating God, we thank you that you give us grace enough to love each other.  Amen.

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