It’s small. It’s simple. It’s on my radar- the ABC’s. The simple tune, the letters of our language, a way to give God thanks for the days leading up to Christmas Day along with a bonus for the day after with the letter Z. It’s a way to find gratitude in the everyday and ordinary. In the little things. I saw the ABC’s of faith on a placard a wall- it is portrayed in the picture above. I realized I am now seeing the ABC’s all over the place. Daily I get reminders to give God thanks.
December 1 began with the A’s of gratitude - Aunts and Apples, Advent and Adventures, the Ability to Ask and Avocados, friends and family members whose names begin with A. A variety of people shared their A’s of gratitude. One family is writing them each day on a board at home. We get to keep sharing our life together and it inspires gratitude in others as well.
As we get closer to Christmas I have “little things” on my mind. From our now 9 week old puppy Zoey who weighs just over two pounds -to the three simple words in our Christmas Gospel “she gave birth” (Luke 2:7). Little things can make a really big difference. Those 3 words “she gave birth” speak of how the world changed on that day when God came in the flesh to dwell among us.
We are going to keep it simple at our home this Christmas. A puppy is more than enough energy and entertainment we don't need to add much more. No need to go out to be entertained when we can sit on the floor of the kitchen, vigilant in our house training, watching her topple over a toy larger than her. We get to slow down to take her outside watching her chase a leaf and learn how grass feels underneath her feet. It’s the little things. It’s small. It’s simple. I am giving God thanks as we close out 2018 for so many small things that remind me of how great the Love of God is which surrounds us.
This will be my last blog post for 2018. We are going to keep it simple and slow down at the church office as the year winds down to a close. For 2019 the word I chose to walk with me is FAITH. A mustard seed, a very small seed, that grows large enough that birds can make their nests in it. Three simple words- she-gave-birth and nothing is ever the same. Small and simple things remind us of the kingdom, remind us of Christmas, remind us to give God thanks.
To an unwed, teenage girl the angel Gabriel speaks just a few words “Greetings favored one”. She was perplexed. Mary pondered what sort of greeting this might be. She was told “do not be afraid.” A simple phrase inviting her faith. Mary is called into a faith in what is yet to come, soon to be seen and experienced, and so are we. Into all that perplexes you and that which you ponder - hear a Christmas invitation into faith. As we count up to these last days leading to the celebration of the event that changed the course of history, take to heart the invitation. Be not afraid. Remember also that the angel Gabriel spoke these words to Mary as well, “For nothing will be impossible with God” Luke 1:37.
Mary responds “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word”. Here am I. Let it be. Simple words. Words to indicate faith. May these words be your words, words to walk with you and work within you in these last days of 2018. May this well known story be planted even deeper into you as part of your story. Do not be afraid. Here am I. Let it be. Remember, she gave birth. It has changed everything. The mustard seed is used as a metaphor also for the kingdom of heaven. This very small seed when planted grows such that birds make their nests in it. The King is coming. Remember, she gave birth. With God nothing is impossible. May you find the peace and love of Christ Jesus in even the smallest of times and places and experiences from A to Z and all the letters in between.