1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
Father, for many of us these days of celebration are painful reminders of joy that once was, but is no more. I’ve heard it said at Hope Street this past week, “I don’t celebrate Christmas no more,” and “This is the first Christmas in eight years without her.” How do we stand along the pain of our brothers and sisters in the midst of our own joy?
How did you, a Father, THE Father, do it? You clothed yourself in flesh and became son. You humbled yourself and you sent your angels to proclaim “glad tidings” and songs of joy to shepherds and kings, to Simeon and a prophetess named Anna. You did this knowing full well the coming pain and suffering.
Is it because you are the living God?
Even in death you brought life to all, and not just barely-making –it-scraping-along-the-bottom-of-the-barrel life, you brought abundant, overflowing, over-pouring life to the full! You taught us kinship. You taught us how to weep, how to break bread together, and how to wash the feet of our betrayers. But mostly you taught us how to be moved: by, for, and towards others.
Father you teach me this daily; for from the same mouths that shared their holiday pain came joy in so many moments, small and great, leading up to Christmas. In a way these painful moments drive us closer together, and closer to you. They are the thirst that you came to quench.
I thank you for this family that mourns, and loves, and grows together – in you, through you, and by you.