Today I was at a men’s bible study I attend every Tuesday morning. During the table discussion my friend Doug mentioned that life had ramped up with a new and demanding job and that they had adopted a child as well into their household. He admitted his quiet time with God had suffered and that he could only pray on the way to or from work. He said, I’m praying in traffic! Immediately I jumped on that phrase calling it tweetable! Isn’t that what we all are to do?
In this busy holiday season of parties, shopping, decorating, cooking, wrapping, travel and more, there is a lot of traffic; maybe even a traffic jam! There is an external busyness in the flurry of activity at the holidays or really at anytime. More so there is an internal traffic in our heads and hearts clouding and crowding our lives, distracting us from what is truly important.
The traffic we experience, whether internal or external can for some be a welcomed detour allowing us to avoid pain or to deal with complicated and even hurtful things. Situational avoidance is a defense mechanism of the human heart. We can push pain away and take on a Scarlett O’Hara attitude, Oh, I can’t think about this now! I’ll go crazy if I do! I’ll think about it tomorrow. I believe God wants us whole and part of that wholeness comes by clearing the traffic. We pull off the road, even just for a minute, take a breath and in doing so we allow the Lord to come into our lives. If we submit to His Lordship and presence He can be like a surgeon cutting away the dead and cancerous stuff in our souls.
I know people this year who are celebrating the holidays when there is an empty space in the home. Someone has passed away or walked out through the door of divorce. There is an ache because of the brokenness in this world. People are suffering loss; they are in need. Some people have poor health or they are dealing with life-altering situations. The pain of suffering and loss can be a traffic jam deep inside who we are. The remedy? It is the always and constant Sunday School answer to any question we ask, Jesus!Jesus comes to clear the traffic, to make the crooked, crowded, rough ways we journey straight and smooth. Click To Tweet
comes to clear the traffic, to make the crooked, crowded, rough ways we journey
straight and smooth. He comes to bind up the brokenhearted and to set
captives free. He comes to bring Good News of salvation, hope, faith,
peace and love. I love these two last verses of the Christmas carol, O
Little Town of Bethlehem and they are my prayer for myself, my family
and friends, that we will receive with joy the wondrous given gift; that the
Dear Christ enters in and will be born in us today!
How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given
So God imparts to human hearts, the blessings of His heaven
No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin
Where meek souls will receive him still, the dear Christ enters in
O Holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in, be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels, the great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us, Our Lord Emmanuel
His presence clears the road, the traffic slows and we discover afresh Almighty God who loves us with an everlasting love. Ultimately the mission of Jesus is a proximity mission – a ministry of WITH-ness. Doesn’t that sound a lot like the true meaning of Christmas? Emmanuel, God is with us! Christmas is not really about presents; no it’s about PRESENCE!
The Rev. Jon Davis PhD is an Episcopal Priest, church planter, teacher, worship leader. He is on staff with Fresh Expressions as a mission strategist and is launching some Fresh Expression gatherings through the Abbey Mission in a NE suburb of Orlando. firstname.lastname@example.org