“To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life’s story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side, I learn who I am and what God’s grace means. As Thomas Merton put it,Brennan Manning
‘A saint is not someone who is good but who experiences the goodness of God.’”
Christmas is the epitome of the goodness of God!
I recently ran across a poem that celebrates God’s very ordinary blessings. The poet, Anne Sexton, mentions her hair, the bath towel, breakfast eggs, a spoon, a chair, and more. She says …
All this is God,
right here in my pea-green house
and I mean,
though often forget,
to give thanks,
to faint dawn by the kitchen table,
in a prayer of rejoicing
as the holy birds at the kitchen window
peck into their marriage of seeds.
So while I think of it
let me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this God, this laughter of the morning
lest it go unspoken.
I love her phrasing, “this laughter of the morning.” In this late hour, my last waking minutes, joyful satisfaction is also found in the simple pleasures of a family gathered all around, conversations, grandsons at play, falling shadows, quietness, stillness, the slowing of time, thought, action …
In the midst of the Christmas rush, take time
to thank God for life’s simple pleasures.
Christopher Wright says in his book, Knowing the Holy Spirit Through the Old Testament, “the same Spirit of God who was at work in creation is also at work in that same wider sense, in all those who, as human beings made in God’s image, enrich our world with all kinds of creativity in art, music, colorful design, beautiful craftsmanship.”
As you shop for family and friends, take in the twinkling lights, sing the carols, and bake sweet treats this season, stop to count your many blessings! I don’t know about you, but weariness in well-doing lends itself to gratitude, reminding me to cling to my Abba, Father. It reminds me that it is in him that I find strength and joy for He is good!
Celebrating the goodness of God!
“I am blessed beyond the curse, for His promise will endure and His joy will be my strength!”Darrell Evans
Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.