Monday, December 22nd
for Sunday, December 28, 1st Sunday after Christmas
READ: Galatians 4.4-7 “redeem”
REFLECT: A recycling yard, full of piles and piles of what otherwise would have gone into a landfill: plastic water bottles, fancy sparkling water cans, scraps of bent and twisted metal. These things have been redeemed, bought back from their former users and set aside for a new purpose.
My attention goes to a soda can (that’s “pop” or even “Coke” for some of you). Stamped on the top is the word “redeem.” This empty can is worth something to someone — and they’re willing to pay for it. It doesn’t matter if it is scratched, dented, crushed or torn apart. It is still worth the same amount. There is an intention to make it into something else, something with a renewed purpose.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Advent is like the Christian New Year. And I think it is no coincidence that the whole season of Advent is about preparation for the coming of Jesus, the in-breaking of the reign of God in our lives in a truly physical way. It’s hard concept to get our heads around and having a season of preparation helps a bit. It reminds us that the coming of Jesus infuses our lives with renewed purpose.
But the season of Christmas doesn’t actually start until Christmas day. It’s 12 days long and goes through January 6th. This day is Epiphany, the day when the church celebrates the “revealing” of Jesus to the wise ones who are on a journey seeking him. The season of Christmas starts in just a few days. Let’s remember to talk about the ways in which his birth and life redeem us. Redemption: it’s not just for Easter.
RESPOND: God, help us to live as redeemed people and not waste our lives by rushing from one thing to the next. Help us, too, to love our brothers and sisters as you love us, and to never discard anyone as being beyond hope or redemption.
We rush for Christmas to get here, and then we rush to put it away. I wonder what we would hear, what we would see or what we would learn if we left Christmas “up” for another 12 days. What do you think you might learn about what you are redeemed FROM and what you are redeemed FOR?
LECTIONARY TEXTS FOR THE UPCOMING SUNDAY (and for you to try on your own):
Lectio Divina Paci is a weekly devotional guide by Audrey Hindes for peacemakers in the lectio divina form. Lectio Divina (Latin for divine reading) is a traditional Benedictine practice of scripture reading, prayer, meditation, and reflection that treats scripture as the Living Word. Lectio Divina Paci is an opportunity for peacemakers to become more in tune with the voice of the Prince of Peace.