Merry Christmas! We have been busy doing, well, not much really! After school got over last week (aka, my work is done for 2 weeks), I decided to stop all the madness. Life was too busy with crafting, shopping, visiting, and a bunch of other time-sucking stuff. I needed to take a vacation...so I could really revel in this season.
It is the season of Advent. Advent is a great time when we wait for the coming of Jesus. He came to us all those years ago, God in baby form, wrapped in swaddling and found in a stable. The good news? He didn't just come, he is coming again! We anticipate Christmas, but we also get to anticipate His return. Hope.
This time of year can often be hectic for
a lot of people most of us. We get busy buying gifts, making cookies, going to parties, and spending time with family. We get busy. Some of us get busy thinking of all that we don't have--lost loved ones, jobs we wish we had, toys we wish we were getting, etc. It doesn't often look like a time of peace. If we open our hearts and lives, set down the things that distract us, and live in the coming of our King-the Prince of Peace-then we can find the thing we are looking for. Peace.
I find that once I set aside all the craziness that I create in life (did you catch that?? The craziness that I create!) I can live more fully. What does that even mean? Live more fully? I spend time with my kids-doing the things they want to do. I read-a lot. I engage my friends in meaningful conversation...that involves me really listening. And I play. I laugh. I spend time in the presence of my God, my God-come-down, my Jesus. Joy.
Two weeks off at Christmas time is wonderful. You see, I love my job (who doesn't love working with great people, 13 year old kids with tons of energy, in a loving environment? It is great!), but if I didn't have to work, I wouldn't. Although I love my job, I would rather stay at home full time with my kids. These two weeks are a treasure to me. I get to take a break and spend it with the people that I love most in this world. If you're anything like me, once I am in the right mindset, it is easy to be overcome by love at this time of year. I say, "once I am in the right mindset" because this love isn't always my first response. When I reflect on the gift of a tiny God-man in a manger, an act done out of pure love...my heart swells and I am able to more fully love my family. The truth? I am not a good "lover" on my own. It is because Jesus loved me that I can love at all. A great gift. Love.
Hope. Peace. Joy. Love. These are the weeks leading up to tonight.
Luke 2:9-14 says, "An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.' Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'"
Tonight as you think about what tomorrow holds, may you be met face to face, heart to heart, with the Glory of a Newborn King. Friends, Jesus is come! Let us all rejoice and be glad!!