Pulpit Reflections Pulpit Reflections Throughout our lives we are filled with questions as we try and make sense out of life. Some of the questions we ask of ourselves, some we ask of those we love and some we save just for God.
Most of those questions begin with the preface, "Why…?" In times of frustration we ask questions like "Why do there have to be so darn many mosquitoes?" In times of pain and grief we ask deeper kinds of questions like "Why did someone we love have to die?"
In all of our human experience I believe that there is one particular question that is central to our lives and is also the one that we are most afraid to ask. "Do you love me?" We are sometimes too afraid to ask it of someone we love and I think most fearful of all to ask it of God. What if the answer is no?
In the musical Fiddler on the Roof the father of the family, Teyve, is talking to his wife Golde and he asks his wife the question, "Do you love me?" He asks her again and again, six times in fact and again and again she avoids giving him an answer and then finally in exasperation answers him.
"For twenty-five years I've washed your clothes, cooked your meals, cleaned the house, given you children, milked your cow… for twenty-five years I've lived with him, fought with him, starved with him. Twenty-five years my bed is his, if that's not love, what is?"
Humankind had probably asked this same question of God since our creation. But God, unlike humans, does not duck the question, but always gives us an answer. God speaks and God shows. God does God's absolute best, like a good parent, to put the answer in a way that we are ale to understand it and perhaps even more importantly, to believe it. But oftentimes in our pain, in our confusion, in our shame and in our despair, we are unable to hear or see the answer, so God keeps on trying.
Christmas is God's answer to our "Do you love me?" God stepping out of time and down from heaven, taking upon Himself our human form, to be born to us, to walk with us, to suffer for us and to die for us. Jesus Christ is our answer. He comes to us at Christmas as the babe in the manger in Bethlehem, our first and best Christmas gift of all time.
But unlike our human experience of Christmas which seems to be over so quickly in an explosion of wrapping paper, card and bows, He keeps on coming. He comes through all the 12 Days of Christmas and never, ever stops. Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, surrounds us in His loving embrace every day of our lives.
Our task as Christians is to keep looking for the answer to that question, "Do you love me?" We continue to ask because we are human and we continue to search for evidence of God's answer because God wants us to. God wants us to discover Him in every corner of our lives.
The God tells us to go out into the world and tell everyone His answer. Yes, I love you!