This was in my inbox this morning, and of course made me think of RM's Friday Five last week! hehehe...
Advent Devotions: Thursday, December 14, 2006
Scripture Reading: Isaiah 52:7–10
How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
who announces salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see
the return of the Lord to Zion.
Break forth together into singing,
you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord has comforted his people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
The Lord has bared his holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God. (nrsv)
Bob Carlisle wrote the lyrics to a beautiful, powerful song that is played often on the radio at this time of year. “The Christmas Shoes” illustrates the message of the Isaiah 52:7-10 passage. It tells of a young boy, in worn-out clothes, waiting in line to purchase a pair of shoes on Christmas Eve. The shoes are for his mother, who has been sick for quite a while. “I know these shoes would make her smile,” he tells the person in line behind him. “And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight.”
But the young boy doesn’t have enough money in his pocket to pay for the shoes. Could anyone help him? he asks. The gentleman behind him reaches into his own pockets and makes up the difference, reflecting, “I'll never forget the look on his face when he said,
‘Mama’s gonna look so great.’”
I knew I’d caught a glimpse of heaven’s love
As he thanked me and ran out.
I knew that God had sent that little boy
To remind me just what Christmas is all about
It is in taking the time to share our love and kindness with others, especially those in need, that the Christ child is born anew in our world, in our hearts, in our lives at Christmas and throughout the year. It is in sharing our love and kindness in small, practical ways like the man in the story that we point others to Christ’s eternal peace. It is in walking in his way of peace that our feet, like his, become beautiful as we share the good news message of Christmas that God loves us and comes in the person of Jesus to save us all.
Loving God of the Christ child, guide me and help me walk in the paths of righteousness, and help me to be a messenger to a world falling apart, pointing the way to love, hope, and peace eternal. Amen.
Written by Keith Harris, Associate Pastor, Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago