Gifts of Mercy


The Baby Jesus comes to us with offers of rest. May we be thankful for His healing presence.

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God. —Hebrews 4:9 (niv)

Second Sunday in Advent: Jesus, our Sabbath rest

One of our family’s Christmas traditions is napping. Having gotten up uncommonly early to open presents, then eat Mamaw’s country breakfast—eggs scrambled with ham, biscuits and gravy, fried potatoes— we all retreat, sluggish and cranky, to our rooms.

First, though, my husband, Kris, gathers up the trash and I sort out the good boxes for next Christmas. This year, one box’s top was missing, so I went upstairs to look in the girls’ rooms. As soon as I opened Charlotte’s door, I realized my mistake.

“What?” she asked, jerking awake.

I might have escaped her wrath even then had I not spied the box lid, holding trinkets from her stocking. As I reached for it, she surged up from the covers. “You came in, when I was sleeping, to get a box lid?”

I slunk out.

After cleaning up from breakfast, I lay down, fretting about Charlotte’s fury, replaying it in my head and chiding myself for my thoughtlessness. I prayed she’d sleep it off and not, in the way of teenagers, emerge from her room later, surly and silent. Before I knew it, though, I, too, was asleep.

Later, Charlotte hugged me, her momentary outrage transformed by the great panacea of sleep into a fond story to retell next Christmas. Sleep, our best Christmas present, transforms us.
Baby Jesus, our Sabbath rest, on this day You slept. Thank You for coming to us and healing us with Your presence, with Your offers of rest. —Patty Kirk
Digging Deeper: Mt11:28–30

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