Snow ceased its yard “dusting” which actually became the better part of an overnight inch. The driveway at my new place loomed larger than the broken blacktop, annoying to shovel one of the past several years. Back there about every 3 or 4 feet I’d chunk into a crack or push into the car weight hollows made by who knows how many vehicles since the early 70’s. This shouldn’t take too long despite the increased length and width – no need for my snowblower and I do need a workout to shake some sitting in the den, peering out the window at Christmas anticipation seep of “it’ll melt, just let it go.” A little grey, feather-flick caught my eye, just below the window and I carefully peeked. Quite small, the junco intensely pecked, made a couple hops, pecked some more. It had found a small, green patch of lawn between the porch and a burning bush, a still not chilled piece of turf that might offer seeds, snacks – anything to quench hunger. The light grey bellied bird traversed the entire area in a half-hour seek of a little morning repast. I didn’t mind the shovel sluff-off and really, since I already seated, I might as well have a little think and enjoy the one act play before fluffed feather, shake off the chill flight ended the one act play. The celebration of Jesus’ birth now fast coming, the snow whitening a fall-brown and weary world, I peck around a little at some seeds the Bible offers in the greenery of time.
Seekers. “And there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world…” Everyone traveled to appropriate towns to register for this census. Joseph, having recently had sought to understand the concept of Mary’s pregnancy and abetted by a visit from an angel, now faced loading up and heading off from Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, and on to Bethlehem, the city of David. And there, Christ was born of wife Mary. Some shepherds tended flocks, a likely quiet night and an angel appears surrounded by the “glory of God.” They are told of the birth, given the location, and the meeting ends with heavenly hosts singing “Glory to God in the highest…” And the shepherds respond with, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened” and they hurry off – seeking. And so the wise men, the kings, and soon the people. And Herod. Then Jesus Himself as he remarked to fearful, seeking parents, “Should I not be about my Father’s business?” Seeking. I search through the stories in The Holy Bible, New International Version published in ’84. References to folks seeking really becomes quite amazing. John, mistaken as Messiah as the many seek a savior. A browse through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – with “seeking” as focus – generates quite a list. Those of faith to find healing, those of love just wanting to be near, those seeking salvation. And those seeking His death. What an irony that Christ’s life journey ultimately sought death so His people could live.
The junco seeks and finds. His little greenery upsets when a grey squirrel joins, much more hurried and frantic, tail flicking, cheek stuffing, hop about…then into the black drain spout to hide his horde. I shake my head just a little. In this ramble ‘round the brain, from nowhere comes a thought from Bede Griffiths that I read somewhere on the internet. “I suddenly saw that all the time it was not I who had been seeking God, but God who had been seeking me. I had made myself the center of my own existence and had my back turned to God.”
So, I head out, hat on head, shovel in hand, to clear the way for Ben the truck’s travels. He will seek out many things for me and we’ll stow them in the “cheeks” of the short bed. And we’ll stop at church. May we all be richly blessed this Christmas season, not with the search for holiday happiness, but with the secure knowledge that a savior has come. Our peace has been found. For unto us is born this day in the city of David, a savior, which is Christ the Lord. We have CHRISTmas. Be safe little junco, your feathers are known.
submitted by Dave Smith