Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas 1c - Conclusion

2 Samuel 2:18-26; Psalm 148; Colossians 3:12-17; Luke 2:41-52

Ten years ago on Christmas Day someone left a little red hound puppy at the church which is how we got Rudolph (Rudy) the Red Dog. Last year on Christmas Eve Josh found a stray kitten which is how we got a black cat named Evie. On Wednesday Mary Ruth and I went to the Home Depot to get a Christmas tree and came home with a Chihuahua we’ve named Feliz. Lisa says next year, three days before Christmas, no one leaves the house. I say it doesn’t matter because the strays will find us. The lessons for Christmas 1c are about the lost and found. When all was lost because of the sins of Eli’s sons Israel’s hope was found in Hannah’s son Samuel. When we lose our voice for praise because of trying times we find it when we remember praise the Lord is about our being made and not the sound we make. When we clothe ourselves in the wardrobe of Colossians we lose the things that don’t fit those chosen by God, holy and dearly loved, to find the life of love that wears well. And finally the boy that Mary and Joseph feared they had lost and then found in his Father’s house was the One who the Father had sent to find them. That same One comes to find us, whether we know we are lost or not, to provide a future and a hope, which of course is a permanent place in the Father's house. Feliz Navidad!


  1. Phil - Great story. We have all been strays so know how wonderful it is to be found. It's commendable that you are able to keep opening your heart to all sorts of strays, pets and people.
    Reading this blog, I keep wondering when you're going to write a book. But then, I realize this your book - an on-going record of your life living the lectionary.

  2. The point in Jeremiah 31 (and elsewhere) that Israel "met God out looking for them" adds a dimension to finding strays. Both here and in the terrific Christmas message I heard at Fellowship Church, we celebrate the significance of being found and of choosing new directions. The parallels between pets and people are clear. But, it strikes me that one difference is that ours is a God who is constantly out looking for strays. He doesn't just coincidentally find them at Home Depots and freeway intersections, but spends His time searching for them. Imagine if you and Mary Ruth had gone to Home Depot that day searching for a stray pet and hoping you'd find one. That God pursues us raises the Christmas story to a whole 'nother level.