Choose to Be Safe, Whole, and Generous

Yesterday was wonderful. It was great to have the opportunity to spend four worship services with you. Yesterday was wonderful, but yesterday was busy. I just now got to my daily devotional for Christmas Eve from Celebrating Abundance by Walter Brueggemann. I want to share it with you. His scripture is from Matthew 1:20:

But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” (NRSV)

Toward the very end of the devotional he writes:

The gift of Christmas contradicts everything we sense about our own life. Our world feels unsavable, and here is the baby named Jesus, “Save.” Our world and our lives often feel abandoned, and here is the baby named Immanuel, “God with us.” Be ready to have your sense of the world contradicted by this gift from God. Rest on the new promise from the angel that you may be safe and whole and generous. [1]

I’ll admit that at first, I was really unsatisfied with this. I read the word “may” in the sense of “might.”—as in it might be safe and it might not be safe. But that’s not what he means. He means “may” in the sense that you can choose. We can choose to be safe in Jesus Christ because Christ will never forsake us or abandon us and with him, we have everything else. We can choose to be whole because God wants us to be whole and God will make us whole if we allow it. We can be generous because God has been generous with us in ways beyond our understanding.

This Christmas day, I urge you to choose to be safe, choose to be whole, and choose to be generous.

[1] Walter Brueggemann, Celebrating Abundance: Devotions for Advent, comp. Richard A. Floyd (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2017), 67.