‘See the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day. Zechariah 3:9
The holidays are infamous for bringing us together with the one or two family members we dread seeing: the person who inevitably drinks too much and becomes volatile, the bitter soul who can’t seem to withhold cruel, cutting words. I have no problem identifying the difficult person(s) in my life. It takes more effort for me to understand to whom I am that “difficult” person.
So that is the curse and the blessing of the holidays. Take frail, sinful human beings, throw in the pressure of the rush, unrealistic expectations, old wounds and bring us all to the table and we find ourselves in a vulnerable state. The holidays provide rich material for the making of memories both good and bad, that seem to define us.
As the years go by, I am learning that the holidays are not about me and my memories. They are HOLY-days, sacred to God and dear to me. They are about God incarnate humbly coming into this mean world to bring light and healing. Thirty three years after the birth of Jesus, his death on the cross would remove the power of sin over us in a single day. All my efforts at self improvement and being good enough are futile compared to what Jesus did for me. Because I am forgiven, his grace is reflected humbly through me. That’s a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit in itself; that doesn’t come naturally from me.
All Zechariah’s hopes and dreams were found in the person of Christ. I enjoy the privilege of knowing how beautifully Zechariah’s prophetic words were fulfilled. That is a game changer, especially at the holidays; I can let go of having to have everyone behave. I can let go of old wounds. I can focus on the goodness of God and the beauty of his love and receive the wonder of what he has done for me. My heart sings the words of the Christmas carol, “long lay the world in sin and error pining ‘til He appeared the soul felt its worth. The thrill of hope, the weary world exalted for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.”
Lord, I fall on my knees and take hold of what you have done for me. Keep gratitude in my heart always. Amen