Every Christmas I look forward to baking my Cranberry Nut Bread! I like how it tastes, but even more so, I like how it looks! Beautiful!
Not this year.
I’m blaming it on “chemo-brain,” (although chemo doesn’t start for another week!).
Since I’m intentionally eating healthier these days, I thought: Why not add ½ whole wheat flour? It will still taste great!
WHY NOT??!!! Because my beautiful Christmas Cranberry bread will look ugly! Nothing at all like Christmas!
Or – maybe more like Christmas – “more like Jesus,” encouraged Jacqui.
“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” Isaiah 53:2
Yet, we’re invited to “Taste and see the LORD is good!” Psalm 34:8
With this second breast cancer diagnosis, Christmas isn’t looking all that beautiful. I’m reminded of how similar I am to common people of baby Jesus’ day.
He didn’t show up the way they expected – and many missed Him.
In what ways does Jesus show up in my life different from what I expect (or hope for!), and I miss Him?
Many in baby Jesus’ day were looking for a mighty warrior to powerfully save them from terrible oppression. Instead, He came as a humble human, born in a stinky stable – living, dying, and rising again to save them from their sins. Peace with God. Peace of God. Forgiven.
I, too, often find myself looking for Jesus to spare me from suffering, but I’m beginning to recognize Him more and more as He sustains me through suffering – Emmanuel – God with me. God.With.Me. Thankful for a Savior – saved from my sin. Peace with God. Peace of God. Forgiven.
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel” (which means, God with us).Mt. 1:23
Especially this Christmas, I desperately need to hear again the angel’s voice:
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:10-11
“He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” (2 Cor 1:10-11)