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Today in the Mission Yearbook

God’s timing


O Christmas Eve, O Christmas Eve …

December 24, 2019

I know this is a slight deviation from the beloved German Christmas carol, but you know how sometimes on a Monday morning you have a hymn stuck in your head from Sunday’s worship? I have one particular Christmas Eve etched into my childhood memories.

I don’t remember my age at the time, but one of my sisters, who is 10 years older, had learned how to carefully unwrap and rewrap the gifts our mom had under the tree for her, so she could know what she was going to receive on Christmas morning. Mom found out about this and strongly urged her not to spoil her surprise.

Yet this Christmas Eve, Sherry had figured out a way that she could know what she was getting and still keep her promise to Mom about not opening her presents early. Sherry convinced me to open her presents, while she opened my presents. Then we would tell each other what we were going to get. If Mom asked Sherry if she opened her gifts, she could say “no” without lying, and I could do the same.

Mom was smarter than we were that year. That was the year Mom decided she would outwit Sherry and put my name on Sherry’s gifts and Sherry’s name on my gifts. So, we still ended up opening our own gifts anyway. 

Waiting is so important to God. How hurt God must be when we plow ahead with our own plans instead of waiting for the good and perfect plans God has for us. Just as our mother was hurt by our disobedience, God’s heart must break when we settle for less because we lack the patience and self-control to wait upon the Lord.

Scripture is filled with stories of people, like Abraham and Sarah, who would have been better off to wait upon the Lord, instead of taking matters into their own hands. Yet our loving God still sent Jesus to live and die for us; still inspired the writing of Scripture to guide us; and still gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower us as we journey home.

That kind of love — God’s love — is a gift we are encouraged to unwrap daily (Matthew 7:11).

Tammy Warren, Communications Associate, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Tuesday, December 24, 2019, Christmas Eve (Year A)

First Reading Isaiah 9:2-7
Psalm 96:1-13
Second Reading Titus 2:11-14
Gospel Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)

Today’s Focus:  God’s Timing

Let us join in prayer for: 

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
David L. Myers, Presbyterian Mission Agency
René Myers, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Let us pray:

God, forgive us for the many ways we have hurt you by running ahead of your plans. Make our paths straight and help us to be a blessing to those who don’t know you and those who do. Thank you for every good and perfect gift. Most of all, thank you for your amazing love for us, even when you know we are going to disappoint you again and again. Amen.