Today's Lectionary Text
Acts 17:27that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,
I began a project this fall to help my mom sell some of her doll collection. These dolls were kept in a china hutch my entire childhood and we only got to hold them when she got them out to dust them. Even then we held them gingerly until it was time to put them back in and close that glass door for another few months. They had perfect hair, were dressed impeccably, in general were immaculate had original tags on them.
Those pristine dolls were a stark contrast to the stuffed animals and other playthings that were dragged around with me every day from home to the babysitter or to a grandparent’s house and back. My grubby friends got tossed into the washer or spot cleaned after something got spilled on them or if they were unlucky enough to be with me when I got sick.
We’ve found some of my friends in the process of going through her dolls and I have so many memories of having them with me, the adventures we went on together, and those stuffed animals that were lost either to losing them or being loved too hard.
The contrast reminds me of how some people (and at times even myself) can treat faith and Jesus in our lives. It’s convenient to take him out and see him as precious and perfect and then put him back behind glass. The perfect one, God’s Son. But there’s the other Jesus. My Jesus. He’s as grubby as some of those stuffed animals of mine. He’s been dragged through a lot with me. He’s probably worn and scarred from my adventures and misadventures. He’s a little beat up, but he’s familiar. We have battle scars and memories between us.
Do I sometimes put him behind glass? Oh yes. And when I do, things just don’t feel like they are quite going right. But when I take ragged Jesus out again and start dragging him around with me, things may not be perfect, but I know its going to be ok.
As we start looking toward advent remember that we are at the beginning. The beginning of a journey that takes us all the way from newborn infant to the cross. We know how the ADVENTure begins.
This Advent I’m going to try not to focus on the perfect Jesus but my ragged Jesus. The baby who was human and divine. I picture a grubby toddler, a mischievous boy, a serious young man with a hint of laughter in his eyes.
If I can keep that Jesus near me, maybe I can avoid putting him behind glass the next time I’m tempted.
Prayer for Reflection
Heavenly Father, thank you so much for sending your son. Help us to bring you into our daily lives and not leave you for special occasions only. Remind us you are our everyday God, upon who we can rely.
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