Advent 2016 — Dec 28

“For thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.” -- Ezekiel 34:11-16 Christmas is about God seeking his lost sheep. Jesus was born a babe in Bethlehem. But when he grew into a man he hung up his carpenter tools and became the Good Shepherd. He is God among us, looking for us. He has no trouble finding us as we commute and earn and spend and play. He searches for us because he loves us. Our awareness of his motive is the key to life. Until we believe in his love, we dodge and hide. Only let him find you, and you will be grazing on high mountains and drinking from the clearest streams of living water. You will find strength in his company and be nourished by what he tells you. You will wake up among friends who will share your journey. The great grand joy of Christmas is being found.