Monday, December 12, 2016

Are we Faithful?

In case you missed it on Facebook, our dog Gizmo died Saturday morning. He died without us having to take him to be put to sleep, which was a good thing, but it was a surprise and we didn't really get to say goodbye. I am definitely not a pet person... in fact, we got him 13 years ago because my sister-in-law convinced me that he would eat that scraps that fell from the table. At that time we had 9 kids ages 7-17, so it was a necessary investment. He did a great job of it too, by the way.

But wow, was that dog ever a faithful friend to Bart. He immediately claimed Bart as his person (if you know Bart, you know why) and he was very much his companion. They spent hours and hours walking together over the years on trails and sidewalks in every town we lived in. Most recently he was a bit too old for the walks (the dog, not Bart), but he was still happy to see us. It was sad to watch him grow so old -- he couldn't really see or hear any more and he had Cushing's disease, so he was always hot, hungry, and thirsty, but he was still right there with us. It was a hard weekend.... I was sad, but I was even more moved by the grief of my husband and children. The dog was as faithful as they come.

This weekend when we were singing "Oh Come, All Ye Faithful," I started thinking about who the song was written to. Obviously it was not written on that morning.... so it had to have been written later. So I realized that it was written to us -- to all who would come after as followers of Jesus. It wasn't to the general public, but to us, those who know Him and need to be reminded to head to Bethlehem at least once a year to behold the King of Angels. The reason for the journey: To adore Him.

It's a busy time of year... and we can get all caught up in the wrong things. In the midst of our parties and parades and gift exchanges and the consumption of the best food ever.... I have a few questions to ask of all of us.

1) Are we faithful? Are we, like Gizmo, eagerly awaiting every opportunity we have to spend time with our Master? Do we wait with baited breath for Him to say, "Would you like to walk with Me?" Is our every moment filled with a longing to be with Him and serve Him in whatever ways we can?

2) Are we joyful? I have to confess a lack of joy the past couple weeks. Sometimes the holidays can be overwhelming and the last emotion I'm feeling is joy. But the song calls us, the faithful, to come joyfully!

3) Are we triumphant? Triumphant is defined as "having won a battle or contest; victorious." Are we claiming the victory that is already ours in whatever battle we are facing?

This Christmas, I want to take that trip to Bethlehem as one who is truly faithful. And I want to take in joyfully, putting the stress and the tensions of this time of year to the side and experiencing the Joy that comes to the world because Christ is born. And finally, I want to be triumphant.... recognizing that I am already the victor in whatever battle I'm facing because of this tiny baby who grew up to be my Master, Savior, and Lord.

Join me?

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