For I, the Lord your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Do not fear,
I will help you.”
Do not fear, you worm Jacob,
you insect Israel!
I will help you, says the Lord;
your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
Now, I will make of you a threshing sledge,
sharp, new, and having teeth;
you shall thresh the mountains and crush them,
and you shall make the hills like chaff.
You shall winnow them and the wind shall carry them away,
and the tempest shall scatter them.
Then you shall rejoice in the Lord;
in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.
When the poor and needy seek water,
and there is none,
and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the Lord will answer them,
I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
I will open rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
and the dry land springs of water.
I will put in the wilderness the cedar,
the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive;
I will set in the desert the cypress,
the plane and the pine together,
so that all may see and know,
all may consider and understand,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.
Psalm 145:1, 9-13
I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
The Lord is good to all,
and his compassion is over all that he has made.
All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your faithful shall bless you.
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom,
and tell of your power,
to make known to all people your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
The Lord is faithful in all his words,
and gracious in all his deeds.
Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John came; and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. Let anyone with ears listen!
It can be quite the challenge to keep your head above water in December. There is the Christmas season to prepare for: presents to buy, parties to attend, gifts to get in the mail. On top of it all, life itself does not stop to accommodate these extra tasks. Families still get sick, projects are still due at work, exams are still scheduled for students. We become overworked and overwhelmed trying to do everything; we certainly don’t have the time to attend to our spiritual life and prepare our hearts for Christmas.
It is at such times when we have to be the most careful. Our external activities shape our internal life, so our hearts are being changed one way or another in this month of December. Fortunately, attending to our spiritual life is not necessarily adding more tasks to the “To Do” list. It is a matter of changing our perspective.
Today’s scriptures open up that perspective for us. God gives us the visual of taking us by the hand, pitying us in our hot mess state, and saying “don’t worry, I will help you.” He may not sweep in and write out all our Christmas cards and get them in the mail on time. He may not drive the kids to their school Christmas pageant while you stay home with the sick ones. But he is here to show us that success as a Christian in this life is not about what we accomplish, but rather what we allow God to accomplish in our lives. God knows how every day is going to unfold. If we ask him, he will lead us. He will show us what he desires for us to do, even if it seems the impossible task of having some open time just to be with him. In this season, most especially, we must practice trusting God that he has our best interests at heart. We must trust that this world will fall away at some point and we will be left with only him. We must practice now letting him be in charge of our productivity. Let us pray today for the grace to trust in God’s compassion and to let him lead us throughout every day leading up to Christmas. Amen.