Saturday, December 25, 2004

merry christmas to all

I'm sitting here tonight after an evening with old friends and some "santaing" with my amazing wife. My heart is full of thoughts about my beautiful kids, incredible church, great family, good friends, on and on and on. I'm struck tonight by how full life seems to be in these days. Full in the best ways. What can I do but thank God and enjoy.

I know there is a miserable war going on in my name (and in yours too American friends). I know there is genocide in Sudan. I know there are homeless people trying to stay warm and find something to eat tonight not too far down the street from where I write these words (I even know a lot of their names). I know there is poverty and misery and pain and all manner of wrong all over the planet tonight. I know the world isn't perfect, a whole lot of it stinks in fact. But I also know that we celebrate the birth of a baby that speaks hope and peace into this wretched world. Immanuel (God with us) brings with Him the possibility of the Kingdom where all of the things that are wrong won't be anymore and He brings the hope that my life and yours can count to live in that Kingdom and live it out. I want my life and my family and my community to extend the hope and the life of that baby and the God who sent him.

So tonight I pray. For every soldier 10,000 miles from home. For every Iraqi family in fear of what tomorrow brings. For every addict who spends tonight with nothing but their poison. For every wealthy American who takes all of life for granted living in blind self-sufficiency. For the hurting and broken and lost and needy and hopeful and blessed. For my family, my friends, my community, and for you -- the friends I know and those I haven't yet met.

May God bless us every one. And may we recognize those blessings for what they are and for the One who brings them to us. May God use our lives to bless those of others. And may we remember the hope we have.

To quote my friend Corey -- Merry Jesus.


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