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Isaiah 43:22-28, Restoration and Protection Promised

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
— Isaiah 43:25

NL Daily Devotion for Friday, December 21, 2018

Christmas feast

by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff

This is about the time of year I have my recurring nightmare. In it, I’m standing at the door of a grocery store 2 minutes before closing time on Christmas Eve. I haven’t yet purchased Christmas dinner, and I have no gifts wrapped or even bought. I race through the store trying to patch together a last minute meal, totally unprepared for what should be a grand feast.

Now, this has never happened in real life. (Although my first year in Minnesota after a California upbringing, I did underestimate closing times after Christmas Eve worship, and we had to settle for convenience store chili that night. Still, Christmas day was amazing!) I know, though, that this recurring dream usually happens when I’m feeling like I’m not accomplishing as much in my life as I feel I should. (And, considering that hospitality is one of my top 5 values, the thought of not providing freaks me out.)

But then I remember the wise words of a brilliant sage:

The Grinch: It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags. 
Narrator: The the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. 
The Grinch: Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... 
Narrator: He thought 
The Grinch: ...means a little bit more."

I would do well to remember that Christmas — heck, life itself — is not about packages and bows. Life is about celebrating God’s world with all we are (not what we have). Welcome, baby Jesus! We’re ready for you to remind us that God’s extravagant love is what’s truly important.

Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:

Isaiah 43:22-28

Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob; but you have been weary of me, O Israel! You have not brought me your sheep for burnt offerings, or honored me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with offerings, or wearied you with frankincense. You have not bought me sweet cane with money, or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices. But you have burdened me with your sins; you have wearied me with your iniquities. I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. Accuse me, let us go to trial; set forth your case, so that you may be proved right. Your first ancestor sinned, and your interpreters transgressed against me. Therefore I profaned the princes of the sanctuary, I delivered Jacob to utter destruction, and Israel to reviling.

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