29 Jul Christmas in July
Christmas in July…You’ve likely had one of those celebrations.
Sometimes organizations or churches revel in a mid-year experience of Christmas…In the Southern Hemisphere, it seems appropriate because the weather more closely approximates what a Northern Christmas feels like. Why am I thinking about that now a few days after the 25th of July?
Well…on July 26th my daily reading through the Bible had me back at Matthew 1:23 – “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son & they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.'” And then, sure enough, Joseph names that child Jesus…a name that means “God saves.” There you are…Christmas! In July!
But more than that…I’ve been reading through the Psalms…and on the 25th & 26th there were these passages that really grabbed me in light of our current circumstances:
I do not trust in my bow;
I do not count on my sword to save me.
You, Lord, are the one who gives us victory over our enemies;
you disgrace those who hate us. – Psalm 44:6-7
God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come
and the mountains crumble into the sea. – Psalm 46:1-2
But as for me, God will redeem my life.
He will snatch me from the power of the grave. – Psalm 49:15
These days it’s sometimes hard to know whom to trust. It’s not always easy to make a decision and feel confident you’ve made a good one. It is at times difficult to simply know what the new rules & requirements are and whether or not they apply specifically to your circumstance.
But having said that…I am assured that God has never broken a promise. In fact, every promise has been kept specifically in Jesus; the God who saves is also with us. So in these particular circumstances where the powers of the world seem determined to prove their strength in the face of a virus that eludes every effort at eradication or control (which is what viruses tend to do), I am drawn back to the Scriptures that remind me I am not out here by myself, or dependent on human wiles & wisdom for my security. I am (you are) loved & guarded by the God who is not shocked or surprised by human pride or chest-thumping bravado, but would rather hold us safe than see us flounder. We are treasured by the God who has created all things. We are the pinnacle of his handiwork, & he will not let us be disgraced or discouraged beyond his ability to restore.
I’ll have some specific notes for the weekend tomorrow…but for now…no matter how many “cases” the media breathlessly reports… “we will not fear…The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
The Lord bless you with his peace!