Snow Day!! Oh, I loved those two words when I was a kid. The opportunity to turn off the alarm, roll over and sleep until I wanted to get up. It was a wonderful gift. This past Monday was a snow day for most kids in lower Michigan. The various school district names scrolled across the TV screen all Sunday night into Monday morning as kids (and teachers too!) got the day off.
Snow Days are a surprise, they are a gift in the middle of the usual routine. It’s a regular week and then the snow piles up and we get a day off, a break we hadn’t planned on.
As I was watching Monday’s snow day unfold, it got me thinking about Christmas and the coming of Jesus into the world. I mean think about it, while there was anticipation, while there were indeed prophesies and promises, life was going on pretty much the way it always had. People went to work, politics were politics and the Temple activity carried on as it always had. But then, as Luke tells us, one night, into the usual routine of caring for their sheep, some shepherds receive an announcement from angels in the heavens. A remarkable star shone in the sky and wise ones took time off from their usual routines to follow that star. And the Good News ─ he had been awaiting for many years ─ came to a devout man named Simeon.
So, what I’m wondering as I enjoy this opportunity to work at home ─ rather than drive to the meetings I would have been attending had they not been cancelled due to this snow day ─ is what Christmas surprises are in store for us this year? What is it God wants to show us, to help us see, to enable us to experience this Christmas? My guess is that whatever it is will not show up on the crawler at the bottom of our TV screen! We will need to look for it. We will need to pay attention so that we don’t miss it. But I do believe that God does want us to receive a gift this Christmas. God wants us to receive the precise gift that God has for us whatever that may be. And God knows what that gift is.
It may be a fresh vision for our ministry.
It may be a new awareness, a deep reminder of just how much God loves us.
It may be the gift of another snow day so we can rest!
But whatever it is I pray that we will receive it, that we will find in it the gift God intends, and we will be blessed.
P.S. This will be my last Castings for 2016, so have a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year!!