Recently I was working on my Christmas shopping and I needed to run into a store that was a bit foreign to me. Vitamin World.
Having never visited a “vitamin” store before, I had no idea how to find anything.
In fact, I didn’t know what I was looking for, I just knew the purpose it was supposed to serve.
I was so relieved when immediately upon entering the store an employee greeted me and asked if I needed assistance.
“I really do! Thank you! I just need help finding one thing . . . if one were training for a triathlon and needed something to help sustain them pre-during-post long training sessions, what would one use?”
She used words I’ve never heard . . .something about “glycerides.” The more she talked, I’m pretty sure my eyes glazed over. (Much like you on Sunday mornings about 10:20 am – ha!). Then came words that I couldn’t believe.
“For an athlete such as yourself, as you continue doing the longer training sessions, it will be important . . .”
I don’t remember the rest of what she said because in the moment I thought, “We must IMMEDIATELY close Vitamin World and run over to Target Optical before they close.
‘An athlete such as myself’ . . . Can she see me? Unless they are going to start spreading triathlons out over the span of several months – maybe even years, this old girl isn’t up for that. Surely she can see!”
Seriously, I find it comical that she was able to say that with a straight face. She saw something that I didn’t and will never see.
One of the powerful things about the Christmas story is we get to see. We see the “rest of the story.”
There was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon. He was a devout follower of God and he’d had a dream that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus in for the consecration according to the custom of the law, Simeon took him up in his arms, praised God and said, “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”
Salvation, we understand, means transformation.
And because we get to see “the rest of the story” we know the promises, the hope, the peace that salvation brings.
Hope in the midst of despair.
Joy in the middle of sadness.
Love even when we are surrounded by hate.
Peace despite the lack of harmony among us.
Because we can see and learn from the many encounters Jesus had with those in his midst and we can hear his words of promise, we can experience salvation.
What aspects of your life need salvation and transformation?
Be willing to offer those areas over to the transformational power of the Christ child.