A PRIVILEGED PLACE

Standing on Solid RockThrough Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. John 1:3-4

 

Each year when Advent begins, I have a particular sense of awe about the coming of Christ. Our Savior is like a super-hero Who comes to avenge all evil in the world and bring healing and hope to the masses. The magnitude of what He comes to accomplish is overwhelming. It pushes aside all the pettiness of our collective yearning for the “stuff” of life, the achievements and accumulations that bind us to our own humanity. God in the world is a scary thought, even while it is comforting. So…there is hope after all. There is a reason to think that goodness prevails in this seemingly wicked world.

 

But when I think of Christ coming to redeem the world, I can’t help but think of what His coming means for me personally. Yes, me, just little old (and-getting-older) me, insignificant in the world’s view perhaps—but not in Christ’s sight. Jesus thinks I’m really something, and He wants me to know that. He looks at my meager accomplishments and says, “Well done!” He views my spiritual immaturity as great progress—after all, what other way is there to learn to live like Christ than to find our way slowly, haltingly? Like the father of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, our Lord sees us when we are “yet far off.” He runs to meet us and celebrates every accomplishment in our lives. God is the expert in working with people’s mistakes. He never grows tired of waiting for us to push our egos out of our own path and find our way back to Him.

 

As if that isn’t enough, Christ also came to tell us that our bodies—our imperfect, decaying, funky bodies—are His temple, His sacred place (1 Corinthians 3:16). He dwells in us, inhabiting our very beings if we ask Him to. And in so doing, He declares that we are sacred and precious to Him. How astonishing it is to know that my Lord calls me a privileged place for His Spirit to dwell! This Advent, remember this God Who came to dwell in your heart and mine.

 

Abiding Savior, make Your home here in my heart forever. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has over thirty years’ experience working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, war veterans, and other trauma survivors.  Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .

JESUS DELIVERS

Jesus DeliversPeace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. John 14:27

 

Every Christmas season, retailers seek to outdo their records from the previous year. They strive for more sales, better deals, quicker delivery, and happier customers. The website holidaycommerce360.com tallies ten factors that go into retail selling in the United States from Thanksgiving weekend until New Year’s Day. The site reports that in 2018, “consumer confidence” (public trust in the economy) was the highest it has been in eighteen years. Last year’s sales growth (total dollars in sales for the year) was up fifteen percent from the previous year. Sixty percent of consumers planned to spend at least fifty percent of their shopping dollars online, and seventy-six percent planned to purchase at least one-fourth of their holiday dollars online—up seventy-three percent since last year. Black Friday and Cyber Monday were the top two days of shopping on Amazon Prime. Purchasing online to pick up locally and same-day delivery were important factors in people choosing to order online.

 

If you think this data is a strange way to celebrate the birth of the Son of God, you are not alone! While the Christmas spending “hype” is going on every year, Christian pastors around the nation are proclaiming the true meaning of Christmas from their pulpits. Choirs and church bands and Sunday school coordinators are practicing in preparation for special Christmas programs throughout the Advent season. Many who believe in the coming of the Son of Man at Christmas—including me—know that the season we call Advent cannot be measured by sales growth or percent of online purchasing. Jesus came to deliver the very best deal of all time: His presence here on earth, walking, talking, healing, bringing a message of peace and love. He gave the ultimate gift when He willingly went to the cross thirty-three years after His birth, to show that He indeed could conquer death and live in our hearts forever. Jesus doesn’t care if we worship Him through a televangelism program or at a physical place of worship, as long as we come and have fellowship with Him and our fellow believers.

 

Precious Jesus, how did we ever get here, where the celebration of Your birth has become so commercialized? Take us back to seeing only You in Christmas. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has over thirty years’ experience working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, war veterans, and other trauma survivors.  Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .