As Christmas looms and we are reminded to remember the reason for the season, keep the Christ in Christmas, enjoy the hustle and bustle … I fear we’re all making ourselves feel a mite husted and busted. Still. For no good reason.
Yes, I just made up a word.
Every year I aim to simplify, and so do a lot of people, but there are those darned expectations, and traditions, and more expectations, and gifts we need to buy and wrap for 523 people, but the table is piled high with holiday paraphernalia so where on earth am I going to wrap presents, and OH MY GOSH ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE CARAMEL SQUARES?
Already did. And I’ll make more. Some traditions are worthwhile, particularly when I have a caramel-unwrapping crew available. Oh yeah, and a spotter for the giant pan of caramel sauce.
Forty-eight caramels per batch, by the way.
And it may have gotten slightly messy the other day. J
No, these do not qualify as healthy eating.
The daily devotional I’ve been using is called, “A Year with Jesus”. The scripture passages are from The Message translation, aka the groovy version of the bible, aka if you’re new in your faith walk maybe save this one for later because it’s more of a paraphrase than a literal translation. I often have my YouVersion app handy to look up the NIV or even KJV at the same time.
What I like about this devotional is that it focuses just on the gospels. No pressure to follow a read-the-entire-bible-in-one-year plan. It’s fine if that’s your goal, and really I like the bible in its entirety and recommend it, but there’s nothing magical about one year, and I have tried and FAILED that plan before.
The gospels. Jesus. Just Jesus. He is all I need.
I’ll get to the other stuff when I flip back to “Jesus Calling” for next year. Plus there’s a sermon every week. Plus something like five books I’m attempting to read at the same time, most of which are Jesusy. Plus the occasional I’m going to flip open the bible and read right now but I AM NOT ON A SCHEDULE moments. I think I’m good.
Reluctantly I caved into peer pressure and subscribed to a daily advent devotional. Honestly I’ve only read a few all the way to the end. I look at the length of the post and I think, “Nope. Can’t do it. Maybe I’ll check it out later.” (Kudos if you've gotten this far and you're still with me.) My apologies to the authors I’m not reading. Keep writing. Out of the several billion souls on this planet, I am sure you are reaching people.
Maybe I’m one of the ninety-nine who are cool back at the barn. Maybe today at least I’m not the dude in the wilderness who needs your words. But the dude is out there.
Maybe I should adopt the Yorkie dog named Thor I’ve always wanted and put some reindeer antlers on him. Because that seems about right. Darned near perfect. My allergist will have a conniption, though.
As I approach the end of the year, “A Year with Jesus”, my daily devotionals consist of the Easter story. Yes!!!!!!!!!! I hadn’t even thought about that until the last couple of days. But of course!!!!!!!!!! No over-inundation with mangers and myrrh and fifty different horrible versions of “Silent Night” we’re supposed to pretend to like. Stevie Nicks should not have recorded this song. There, I said it.
So today we experience the conversation between Jesus and Pontius Pilate. Pilate is always an interesting, somewhat reluctant participant in the story. Three words he uttered jumped off the page at me. “What is truth?”
What is truth!?!
What. Is. Truth.
I know. Do you know?
Epiphany of the day … people in modern society are acting like a bunch of ancient Romans. Everything is relative. It’s all relative. Your truth might not be the same as my truth. How dare you try to impose your version of the truth. La-ti-da-da-da. We can’t even agree on the definition of facts. Relativism runs rampant.
I also look really dumpy in a toga.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Nor did it fall in a day.
The thing that hath been,
it is that which shall be;
and that which is done is that which shall be done:
and there is no new thing under the sun.
~ Ecclesiastes 1:9 (KJV)
I’m just gonna curl up with the truth over here, maybe find some chai tea, and enjoy the rest of the advent season. Happy holidays to you and yours.