Crawling toward the Manger: Day 18

crawling toward the manger daily18She’s going now, on the threshold of this life, looking across the Jordan. It’s the dusk of my grandmother’s life, and she’s waiting. Waiting for Christ’s coming . . . to take her home.

And I’m waiting . . . also for Christ’s coming, to celebrate the Incarnation, the greatest coming of all. In the midst of this season of newness—the new baby Christ, his first breaths, and the coming new year, first resolutions—I’m pushing hard to reconcile the book ends of life, to understand how endings are also beginnings.

We are all crunched into time and space. Immortal souls housed in physical, temporal bodies. Again, I cannot escape the verse, “eternity in our hearts.” Because everywhere we look, we see eternity. In our longings, our failures, our joys, and our hopes. Eternity is the big reality squeezed into each shell of a body.

I view the end of my grandmother’s life with the light of eternity. That big push in her heart that has propelled each yearning of her heart? It’s about to break free. The horse being set out to pasture after years in the stall.

In Christ, all is coming. Advent. We come into the world, live the life He’s ordained for us, and we come to the end. We come home, truly home.

And in between the comings, we wait. Wait by the bed for our loved one’s last breath. Wait by the phone for that call. Wait for the realization of eternity, that whispered nudge we’ve lived with, to become the shouting push. The overwhelming, in-our-face reality.

So much waiting, and so much coming.

You, friends, are there too, right now, experiencing your own comings and witnessing the comings of others. I’m witness to many journeys, some through Facebook, and others through the prayer requests in the bulletin. Many are coming Home. Some old, some not. Some expected, some not.

And all—hard.

How do you handle the eternal comings of others? Through your own comings. You come to the cross. You come into the comfort of the Spirit, or rather, He comes into you. You come to church, into the presence of others. You come to the Word, because the Word became Flesh and came to you.

We come to 2 Corinthians 4 and read that we preach Christ, not ourselves. In spite of the hardness of our circumstances, Christ’s life is revealed in us, a glorious witness that though we waste away on earth, we are renewed. We look beyond our momentary troubles to what is unseen, because what is unseen is eternal.

There is that concept again. Eternity. Perhaps the most comforting concept of Scripture, for those who have been saved.

Wherever you are this Christmas season, stop and come to the manger. Come to worship, like the wise men, come to bring gifts, come to marvel.

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