Monday, December 01, 2008


"Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of the dry ground.

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.

Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
Isaiah 53:1-6

As I sat down last night to choose pictures and something to share with our friends for this Christmas season, this passage came to mind. Don't worry - T and I agreed it was a bit much for a Christmas card!! Especially for our friends who don't really celebrate the real reason we celebrate CHRISTmas at all. So, I chose something a bit less heavy.

I love that we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas right next to each other. Thanksgiving puts us in the right mood for what's coming next and helps us to see what we have in our lives that is much more meaningful than things. It really puts some good perspective on earthly and heavenly blessings.

This past week, I have spent time with my family, traveled, met up with old high school friends at my 20th high school reunion (talk about feeling old!) and returned to my life back here in Maryland. That is a lot to absorb in less than a week, but it surely made me thankful for some things - like a job, a home, two wonderful children, a supportive and grounded husband, a relatively drama free family - and regretful about other things - not staying in touch with old friends, struggling with the spiritual desert I feel like I'm in, coming to grips with my inability to initiate connectedness. I am a complex creature who is thankful for a God who not only created me that way but wants to use me just as I am. Crazy, but he has done it before.

These verses above have been repeatedly presented to me throughout this year. This happens to me now and then, and I think God does this to make a point. These verses make me sad, sometimes they make me feel guilty, other times they offer hope. The one part that always stands out to me... nothing in his appearance that we should desire him... helps me to focus on what is important. So much of our influence is not how we look or appear but what we do. In this case, what he did was truly unimaginable, incomprehensible, unbelievable... so much so, that so many cannot accept it for what it is. He was, and still is, rejected for the very ones he came to love and save.

I am so thankful but I rarely do anything to show it. I hope to do more this year and not be trapped by my beliefs that others have different expectations. I serve an audience of one, and He is all I need, all I strive to please, has looked worse than me on my worst day! I have no excuses, and neither do you!

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