by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020
Oct 22 to Jan 6 reflections from an upcoming book for tending hurting hearts at Christmas
There is no stopping the change of seasons. The onset of winter cannot be halted. There is also no stopping the entry into this time of year which will be harder. Which already is harder. It doesn’t matter how much you try to dig in your heels or attempt to leap straight from here to January in order to avoid it. There is great need for shelter and for spiritual food which will give you the right sustenance to survive the coming rougher weather. Risk of serious inner buffeting threatens on the horizon.
Contemplate the Holy Family. Consider His care. His actions toward them, which represent His promise to you to provide as well. Even though there was no room for them at the inn, there was no mention that they suffered lack. Additionally, even though the Holy Family did not find the lodging they thought they needed and the birth became a harder time than what they might have hoped, what God enabled was enough and added to the story God wanted us to have revealing His way more. Jesus came to a manger (an animal feed trough) and it was expansively beautiful because God was coming into the world to save His people. This was God’s plan. His plan was beyond giving them what would have been considered a nice room. The room was not His priority. Jesus come in humility to do the will of Father whatever the cost. Manifestation of the God-Person and God-will.
Jesus did not have it easy. Neither will we. The God-plan is greater than this. The focus on bringing tangibly now and spiritually for forever the greater opportunity to be connected with God and His love. There is such urgency in this! God’s will for love of each one and for all both here and in eternity the singular focus, no matter the cost. Each one is uniquely called to join in. You are, too… Are these the bold reds, golds and bronzes of this season which had been hidden for so long and now can leave you breathless with their beauty?
What He provides will be enough. No. Not just enough. What He enables will offer yet more. For it is another promise that hidden in this winter which has come and is coming still are not just endings. There are also seeds for that which will be new. Dormant, yet still there. For renewal. Not now visible, but present. These are the seeds of His promised beginnings. Toward reaching higher heights in Him. Not being the Holy Family, but in like manner. Now more emptied, to be used more by Him in His plan. According to His perfect, caring, re-vivifying, activating, enlivening will. Rely on this!
Holy Provider, I am vulnerable in this place. The risk to my heart seems so extreme. I am leaning into You. Emptied of what I thought was important, I want to know You more. Beyond the image of You in the manger, I want to understand what that means to me now as well as forever. How You are here with me in the mess I face. (And I know others face their messes as well.) Feed me, Lord. I long to be that child which first can digest only milk, but whom You grow to digest that which must be chewed as well.
10 [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]
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