The Lord will establish a house for you. (2 Samuel 7:11)
Finally, after years of political intrigue, life on the run, and fighting seemingly endless wars, King David was content. Both his personal enemies and his country’s foes had been vanquished, and Jerusalem was at peace. He even had his own palace! Now that all of the hard work had been completed, it was time to build a Temple for the Lord—a glorious dwelling befitting the God who had given him the throne.
But God had a different plan. He was going to build a house for David. He was going to place David at the head of a dynasty that would last as long as the kingdom of Israel itself. And from that dynasty, God would raise up an “heir” whose throne would “stand firm forever” (2 Samuel 7:12, 16).
Well, it’s Christmas Eve, and you might also feel a bit like King David. Throughout the season of Advent, not only have you been preparing spiritually for Jesus’ arrival, but you have undoubtedly been preparing physically and emotionally for Christmas Day. For many of us, there are the gifts, the cards, the parties, and the other preparations. But many of us have also faced family tensions, financial challenges, loneliness, and frustrated dreams. Life isn’t always easy, and the holidays can be a bittersweet reminder of that fact.
Whatever your situation today, God knows how hard you have been working. You may or may not feel prepared for tomorrow, but that doesn’t matter. Today is a day to put everything aside, even if only for a short time, and rest. You have done all you can do; now let Jesus take care of you. Let him work on building his house in you—his own dwelling place in your heart.
So try to take it a little easier today, even if you have a lot to do. Maybe take just a few minutes to read the stories about Jesus’ birth in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Maybe praying the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary will refresh you. Or maybe just sit back and listen to Handel’s Messiah or your favorite Christmas carols. Try not to dwell on your prayer requests. Just for this one day, relax, and let Jesus take care of you.
“Here I am, Lord. Come and build your home in me.”
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29
Lord, in this holy season of prayerand song and laughter, we praise you for the great wonders you have sent us: for shining star and angel’s song, for infant’s cry in lowly manger. We praise you for the Word made flesh in a little Child. We behold his glory, and are bathed in its radiance.
Be with us as we sing the ironies of Christmas, the incomprehensible comprehended, the poetry made hard fact, the helpless Babe who cracks the world asunder. We kneel before you shepherds, innkeepers, wisemen. Help us to rise bigger than we are. Amen.