The soft flickering of candle light. The quietness of the house. Kids tucked in bed and the heater clicking on.
Deep breath! I love December... I love what Christmas means. I love the reminders in every single thing we participate in.
Reminders of the Christ child every where.
Christmas's past I have missed it. Missed the breath and the wonder of it all. Missed the quiet moment in the chaotic mess of the season... The shopping malls, the to do lists for the decorating, the baking and the entertaining. Invitations and Christmas cards to write.... Missing the point until Christmas Day and then it's over.
This year though, I vowed a change. I want to slow down and take it all in. Take in the story of the real St. Nicholas, of his gift giving and generous heart for the poor. For his desire to protect the Christian faith...
This year I vowed to take in the celebration of Advent and read to my kids every night so they could learn... But the lesson was really for me packaged up, so far, in the stories of Adam and Eve, of Joseph and his coat, of Rahab and the rope... Of David and his heart, the one only God can see... Of Ruth and Naomi and it all points to Christ.
Tonight we read about being the light in the world, a people who shine in the darkness. Who provide a smile, a hug, a warm home opened to others... A meal for someone who doesn't have one. Gifts for those in need...
And the gifts... Not in the physical presence of a gift but rather giving so as to remember the greatest gift of all. Giving a great gift to bring around the fantastic wonder of the babe in the manger.
To sing Christmas songs with a new heart, not because they are pretty rather for the deeper meaning. Singing not for me but because God deserves to be worshipped that way.
And ultimately... Realizing that at the end of all this Christmas and the baby was the beginning to a promise fulfilled. A perfect man, a man who was God... On the cross, forsaken, dead and raised again paying for the sins of all mankind.
In the stillness of the house... Against the glow of Christmas light and candle light I sit in awe and absolute wonder of it all. I am taking quietly in that which He has impressed upon my heart. Love notes from heaven to earth... Love notes wrapped swaddling clothes and burial clothes.
How blessed we are for this great provision... This great love.
Dear Heavenly Father, sitting almost in the middle of your Christmas season reading your word and your promises. Feeling blessed in worship, feeling blessed in your provision. I know you are love, I know you are good and I know who I am in you! Thank you for loving me. Thank you for providing my path and guiding my steps every day. Lord, in the hustle and bustle of this time please focus me daily on what is good and right! Amen