God Speaking

In the Name of God: Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. Amen.

Lessons and Carols is the most complex service in the Anglican Church Year. There are more readers and more hymns and more choral pieces than on any other day.

And yet there is one theme that unites all the lessons and the carols: this is the idea that God speaks to human beings.

In the First Lesson, God speaks to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden—though they don’t listen very carefully to God, nor do they follow his advice. In later lessons, God sends messages to the people of Israel through the Old Testament Prophets; God promises them that their Messiah will come one day–and when he comes, they will feel the presence of God in a new way.

In another lesson, God communicates through an angel. The angel asks the Virgin Mary if she will be the unique human bearer of God’s supreme gift of the Messiah. Mary—unlike Eve in the Garden of Eden—agrees to do God’s will.

Finally, in the very last lesson, God speaks in the most direct way: God’s Word became flesh in the human person of Jesus. God speaks to us through the words and deeds of his Son.

Christmas is 18 days away, and it’s not too soon for us to think about preparing for the holiday. And since Christmas is a celebration of God speaking to human beings, one way to prepare ourselves might be for each of us to ask, how is God speaking to me?

What is God trying to tell me—about my job? About my relationships? About my life? Are there events in my life that seem to be pushing me in a particular direction? Are things happening that God is using to send me a message?

For example, as I read the Christmas cards and emails from far-away friends, I might conclude that God is reminding me of how I can detect the Holy Spirit in the words of human beings I love. Or is God trying to tell me that a problem I’m struggling with is really a challenge that I will be very glad to face—and to solve!

Whatever I conclude, I can be sure of one thing. As God has spoken through the ages, God is speaking to me. I don’t have to worry about that. I just have to listen.

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.”

Amen.


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