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Without Ceasing.

Life doesn't stop.  Even when it stops - when you feel it should stop - it doesn't stop.

And there's a mercy to that.

Mary and Joseph had the baby and it didn't stop. They had to flee to Egypt and then... and then... and THEN...

And in the midst of all the not-stopping, one has to deal with oneself.  Whoever you are.

There's a certain amount of ugly there at any time.  I know I'm not alone in knowing this.  I'm not referring to ugly from the outside (of which there may be much), but ugly on the inside.  The ugly that perhaps only you and Jesus know about.

And here the not-stopping becomes good because Jesus also doesn't stop. He lets us keep rolling forward. Even when we ignore Him or pretend not to know Him or repeat-what-we-did-before-even-though-we-promised-ourselves-we-never-would. He doesn't stop allowing the circumstances of our lives to give us the opportunity to reach out for Him/spot Him/find Him/receive Him.

And that is mercy and grace.

Our ugly doesn't stop His beauty.  And despite our inevitable ugly, He sees beauty still. Beauty original and emerging.

We may not stop this Christmas, but He won't either.

He won't stop:

Calling us

Wooing us

Whispering to us

Reminding us

Convicting us with kindness

Setting us free

Redeeming even the worst

IMMANUEL. God with us: never to leave; never to give up; never to throw in the towel and say, "You know what, Josie?  You're not worth it! I am OUT."


He will love me, He will love you.

In our ugliness, in our beauty, in our brokenness, in our gold-repaired seams, in our bondage, in our newly found freedom. Amidst the wrapping paper and the cold night and the solitude in a crowd and the hangover and the snipe. In the moment by that crib and on our knees by that Cross.

He will love us and wait for us and forgive us if we want it.  

Without ceasing.

jsg/dec 2018

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