Unlikely Christmas Thoughts

This morning, I find myself in North Carolina. My hometown. Though I oddly feel like a stranger in my hometown, there is one place where I never feel like a passerby – Broad River Coffee Company. It’s where I worked my first job. Was introduced to indie music. Learned how to pull a perfect shot of espresso. Where I, in many ways, was first introduced to adult responsibilities.

And this rainy Christmas Eve morning, I find myself drinking a cup of coffee as a nondescript customer. I’m continuing to study My Expectations and God’s Will and another set of verses from Psalm 37 shouted for my attention.

The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
when he delights in his way;
though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the LORD upholds his hand.
Psalm 37:23-24 (ESV)

What in the world does established steps and not being cast headlong have to do with Christmas? I’ll tell you.

On Sunday, traveling through Tennessee on my way to the Land of the Pine, I stopped to attend Cornerstone Church of Knoxville. What a passionate, Christ-exalting congregation! The sermon was the final of their Advent series and entitled “Christ our Mediator”. The pastor brought to light that Jesus is always mediating, or interceding, on our behalf before the Father. The wonder of the Christ-child isn’t that he remained a baby, but that he grew up to be a man and atone for the sins of the world – my sins and your sins. Now, Jesus stands in Heaven and says, “Father, I know Victoria has sinned and she doesn’t deserve your grace. Here, look at my perfect sacrifice on Calvary. Apply my payment to her sin debt. I love her; she is mine.”

I found an easy connection between Sundays’ sermon and Psalms 37:23-24. Though Christ is my chief delight, my greatest desire – I still manage to fall. Because we live in a broken world we experience brokenness, to a degree. It’s the “Already, Not Yet” tension Christians often speak of. So what happens when I do fall? (Psalm 37:24 seems to suggest I will.) I will not be cast headlong, the LORD will uphold me with His right hand.

Jesus is our Mediator, do you see?

Christmas is wonderful because God the Father sent us a perfect and permanent way to restore fellowship, through Jesus the Son. The Creator became created to bear our grief and carry our sorrows (Isiah 53:4).

Jesus,

Your mercy is gracious and your grace is unfailing. You are Emmanuel, God with us. You are the perfect sacrificial lamb and the conquering king.

I will praise your name.

Amen.

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