Tuesday, December 12, 2017

With

Is there any greater gift than the gift of time and presence - of spending time with someone else?  In this frantically hurried world, time is a commodity more precious than gold - more coveted than latest and greatest anything that money can buy.  Especially in this season, we dole out our time in precious allotments, hoping to stretch it just far enough, and knowing we are destined to fail in the endeavor.  "Time with" is impossible to wrap, but so precious to slowly, carefully, jointly peal back the layers with another.


Amid the hustle and bustle of the season, it's so easy to forget that God has given us that most precious of gifts.  Emmanuel, God with us.  His son, sent to live among us, with us, giving us the gift of Himself.  May we all spend some time unwrapping that gift, savoring the Savior - accepting His gift by spending our time with the child in the manger.  

Monday, December 11, 2017

Santa Claus, Frosty and Baby Jesus Are Coming To Town

Talk about covering all your bases. 

Just sayin.....

Adds another perspective to Lory's thoughts on
those who seek the Christ child.

Friday, December 8, 2017

A Crowd of One


This is the first sign of Christmas in my house, and the last to come down.  In fact, the Holy Family and a rotating guest or two stays out all year for good measure.  There is such a crowd here, seeking a glimpse of the child in the manger. 

Alongside the many animals who gathered (which includes a German Shepard and a couple of pigs - how odd), are several who didn't make the Biblical recitation of the event.  There are the well-dressed and the beggars, the young and the old, the worshipful and the awestruck.  They are all hurrying to see the Earth's Savior.

The same still happens this time of year: at Christmas concerts and tree lightings and shopping malls.  Hurrying throngs, awestruck and hopefully worshipful.  But even as we all rush in the same direction; the truth is we rush on individually.  Yes, Christ came to save the world, but He does it on a one-on-one basis.  It is the individual heart that must come to him:  young or old, well-dressed or ragged - even well-dressed and ragged.  Regardless of the crowd that presses in upon us, the journey is made in solitude - one Savior, one saved at a time.


Take a break from the crowd this season - just come!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Wait!

Is there ever a minute longer than the one 
you wait for with a microwave?

Or how about that first cup of coffee?


But imagine the Israelites and 40 years!!!
Or
Waiting for the messiah to come!!
Or
Waiting for the messiah to return.

They tell me it's called perspective. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Angel Songs

"She sings like an angel."  Well, no, no one has ever said that to me - something about a tune and a bucket, maybe, but never an angelic comparison.  I'm not offended.

I wonder, though, what would an angel's song actually sound like?  Beautiful, to be sure!  But maybe too beautiful for mere human ears to take in.  I mean, when the shepherds heard just one angel, that angel had to calm them.  "Fear not," he (she?) assured them.  And let's assume that had a profound effect on the watchers of sheep and they let their fear melt away.  And then an unimaginable number MORE angels made a sudden appearance.  I might be tempted to think the first angel had been speaking sarcastically!

All those singing heavenly voices belting out their best "Glory to God in the highest!"  Imagine the loudest concert you have ever attended, in the smallest room possible, with an enthusiastic crowd singing along, and King Kong on drums, and the biggest and best amplification.  Then raise it to the multitude!  It had to sound like thunder - the kind that booms suddenly and immediately overhead!  The kind that reverberates in your bones!

Imagine Heaven, who had been anxiously waiting for Earth's salvation, bursting into song.  Now THAT is an angel song - one that cannot be even closely approximated by mere human.  But that won't stop me from trying!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Faith

Christmas is Faith.

Sometimes I feel like I have faith like a mustard seed.

And that's good. 
It's not my amazing faith at work but rather
Jesus' amazing work through
that little tiny mustard seed I provide.

Matthew 17:20

Monday, December 4, 2017

dread and anticipation

It starts on the day after Thanksgiving, in the crawl space - that deep, dark, dreaded place where things go to die.  Well, if not to die, at least to ferment.  Nothing that goes in there comes out quickly - except maybe the grandloves.  They are small enough to fit, yet wise enough to avoid that space.  While I, too, come out as quickly as possible, it is never quickly enough.  But since that is where Christmas slumbers from mid-January to November, that is where I must go.

I dread the trip into the crawl to revive Christmas.  I dread hauling the boxes upstairs.  I don't even enjoy the decorating as much as I should - not Grinch-like, but not nearly Elf-excitement, either.

Are two trips into that dreaded abyss within 6 weeks really worth it?  Why even bother? Well, dread is subservient to anticipation:  the anticipation of family and friends, gatherings and joyous refrains, and perhaps a glimmer of the love that brought Jesus to earth so many years ago.  Happy anticipation trumps all - even a trip into the crawl space.

It makes me wonder about Mary, though - a teenaged girl, newly engaged, and mysteriously pregnant.  Dread had to be at the top of her list.  What will the neighbors think?  What will Joseph do?  How is this even happening!?  And yet, the miracle of a child growing within - and more so, the promise of a Savior!  How does a heart hold that kind of anticipation without bursting?

In this Christmas season, may all our anticipations come true, but may we lean into the dread, as well.  We live between the famous duo, as one sharpens the other.  Dread loses its dreary edge in the light of anticipation, even as anticipation's crisp brightness revives us from that memory of where life has taken us against our will.  

Wishing you the Merriest of Christmases, even with, especially with, a side of dread.