A Season of Seeking
Growing up, one of the favorite games in our house was “hide and seek.” I’m not sure I liked being “it” very much, but the hiding was always fun. There were any number of beds to hide under, and deep shelves in the linen closet – perfect for tucking away behind the nicely folded sheets and blankets. For the particularly brave, there was the basement – mostly unfinished, dark, a little haunted feeling – perfect for hiding. Even now, here in the church our middle-schoolers enjoy a good game of “sardines” – a variation on “hide and seek” with everyone looking high and low for those who are hiding.
In some ways, we spend much of our adult lives on that very game. We always seem to be searching for something – lost keys, a lost wallet, a good movie to watch, a good restaurant, a good friend, the right mate, the right job, the right school, the right house. As Christmas now approaches, we are seeking all the more – the right family picture, the right card, the perfect Christmas tree, the perfect present for the loved ones in our lives. In the broadest sense, many people have even described the spiritual journey as our search for meaning or our search for God.
Yet at its heart, Christmas, and the Christian faith may be the very opposite. It is not primarily about our search for God. Instead, we are often like Adam and Eve in that early story – hidden away from the God who is seeking us out. Christmas is about the God who does not remain far away, sitting hidden in heaven waiting for us to finish our search. It is about a God who out of a great and deep love for us seeks us – who sets heavenly glory aside and takes on human flesh to be “Immanuel” – “God with us” – a God we might know and see.
Yet let us not hide too well! I invite you to come to the Tree Lighting to sing the songs and welcome the season. Come to worship throughout Advent. Do not miss our glorious Cantata Sunday or the children’s Christmas Pageant. Join in the joy and wonder of Christmas Eve at Rye Presbyterian. There and throughout this season, may you know the wonder and the presence of the One who seeks you.
For the children to catch the spirit of the God who seeks us, if you are the first child age 10 or under to tell Dr. Miller or me the location of the object in the photo below, a prize awaits you! Who knew there was a cat in church?