From the Bible:
I will take my post.
I will position myself on the watchtower.
I will keep watch to see what the Lord says to me;
And how God will respond to my complaint.
Then the Lord answered me and said,
“Write a vision and make it plain upon a tablet so that a runner can read it.
There is still a vision for the appointed time;
It testifies to the end; it does not deceive.
If it delays, wait for it; for it is surely coming;
It will not be late.” (Habakkuk 2: 1-3)
I love the picture these few verses paint.
Can you envision it, as well?
The challenger, in order to make sure his or her complaint is heard, climbs to the top of the watchtower at the top of the fortress purposefully built on top of the hill on in order to get as high as possible; as close to God as possible to make sure that God hears what she or he has to say. There, shaking a fist at God, the complaint is made on behalf of the people and an answer demanded of the Most High God.
And, God responds with this…
“Write down the vision.
It does not deceive.
If it is delayed, wait for it for it is surely coming.
It will not be late.
Write it large enough that the runner can read it.
The messenger running past way down there in the valley below.”
“Write down the vision…”
How large do we dare write the words of God’s vision for your life and mine, and for the world in which we live entrusted now to our care and keeping? How large do we write it across the landscape of our lives daring to describe the vision of what we imagine or dream or hope as we turn the corner towards the promise of Christmas?
This big (words on a 9×11 piece of paper)?
Or, this big (words on a piece of newsprint)?
Or, this big (large words written across a piece of paper 10’ long)?
How large do they need to be so that another might see?
Maybe there is…
At least in God’s scheme of things…
Something about Christmas…
That is more about proclamation than celebration.
From the Bible: Genealogy of Jesus (from Matthew 1)
A record of the ancestors of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac.
Isaac was the father of Jacob.
Jacob was the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar.
Perez was the father of Hezron.
Hezron was the father of Aram.
Aram was the father of Aminadab.
Aminadab was the father of Nahshon.
Nahshon was the father of Salmon.
Salmon was the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab.
Boaz was the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. (the genealogy continues…)
Biblical scholars will point out all the nuances and inconsistencies that are a part of Matthew’s genealogy. Names out of places and years that don’t add up.
That is there job.
But, here is what strikes me…
Beyond all the grand titles that are given to Jesus and put into words as we sing our Christmas carols:
Son of God.
Lord of Lords.
King of Kings.
And, at a time of the year when we surround Jesus with halos and angels and have him greeted by great Kings from the east.
Matthew begins his story about Jesus by rooting him…
Deeply rooting him…
In a family tree.
Ancestory.com if you will which links Jesus to grandparents and great-grandparents and great, great, great grandparents.
And, on and on and on.
Stretching back in time…real time.
Rooting him deeply in a family and a history.
And, in the fabric of humanity.
And, in the end, in our family and history and humanity.
Can you believe it?
God with us.