Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘#christmas’

Merry Christmas!

As this day dawns, our souls sing Joy to the World, as the Silent Night has birthed a new day with the angels singing, Glory to the new born King.

This is the day that advent prepares us for, the day that love came down.

God sent his son, to give us hope that we might know of his kingdom, that we might have our sins forgiven (and forgotten), that we might have his Spirit to guide us, that we might return to the beauty of Eden, where we can walk and talk with God himself.

There is no message more important, more practical, more true than this:

“For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son, 
that whoever believes in him shall not perish
but have eternal life. 
For God did not send his Son into the world 
to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him.”

John 3:16

For redemption is the best theme of any story, for it is the theme of our story … we are reminded today of that offering of redemption … we just have to choose to receive it, hands and heart open.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The waiting of advent is akin to the waiting of an expectant mom. Then the time of waiting culminates in the birth of the Christ child.

I remember being pregnant at Christmas a couple of times. The awareness and connectedness that I felt to pregnant Mary caused me to ponder her experiences in my heart.

During each advent and Christmas they resurface once again.

I remember keenly the day I made the following statement to my grandmother, when I was maybe thirteen: “Gram, the Catholics really overemphasize Mary, don’t they?”

To which she replied, swiftly “and maybe the Protestants don’t emphasize her enough.”

Mary was chosen, by God, to be more than just the vessel through which his son would be born human. She was his choice. Not only was she to carry him in her womb, but she laboured him through birth, nursed him, cared for all of his needs. She was his momma.

It was her finger that he first grasped, her eyes that he first stared into, the sound of her voice that he first recognized, her touch that most comforted him.

In each of these firsts we see what heaven will be like, but it will be not just the finger, but the hand of Jesus held out to us, his eyes that we will look into, his voice of invitation and the comfort of his touch.

When a woman is expecting, especially for the first time, there is such curiosity of what is happening within her. Truly pregnancy is a mystery with great anticipation and expectation. Each stage, each movement is awe-inspiring.

Truly every pregnancy is miraculous.

At Christmas the miracle of the pregnancy of Mary is central to the narrative.

In the genealogy of Jesus, is recorded the most intimate of connections to Jesus,

“Joseph, the husband of Mary, 
and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.

To be the mother of Jesus was a high calling, one that need great emphasis, as our Word emphasizes not just her name, but her role (and name) of mother.

Read Full Post »

Relief … a word as much as an emotion, as much as a guttural moan.

When hubby responded to my questioning text, about our son’s road test result, with “he just gave me the thumbs up,” I felt great relief. When each of us in the family got the news, we all felt relief. We all just needed a little good news, a break in the seemingly endless line of news that was not good.

Christmas, as much about the season of waiting, is one about relief … relief had come, and was felt through it’s good news.

This is why the wise men left their safe and warm observatories to find the newly born king (Jesus). It is why a host of angels came to tell shepherds in the fields near Bethlehem of the new born king. It is why the shepherds left their flocks after being told of the birth of the Saviour (Jesus). It is why Herod, when he heard that the wise men were searching for a king, told them to report back (and why they returned home a different route).

The Saviour, Redeemer and King had finally come. This is why we sing hymns and carols like “Come thou Long Expected Jesus”, “O Come O Come Emmanuel” and “Joy to the World”. The anticipation and expectation of the coming of one to bring long awaited good news was great.

And what was the news that Christ was bringing?

The good news that Christ brought
was that we would not longer have to live
apart from God.

His virgin arrival as a vulnerable babe, he grew up as the word incarnate, fulfilling the prophesies that foretold of the Messiah, who would come to bring light to the world dominated by darkness. Then he died, a cruel and deliberate death, separating him from his Father. But on the third day, he toppled the darkness of death, left his grave, then walked and talked with his closest people.

 … and this good news just keeps bringing relief.

“The Son of God became a man 
to enable men to become sons of God.”
CS Lewis

Read Full Post »

“What is your favourite Christmas tradition?”

It doesn’t happen often, but that question left me without a response.

In the years that our kids were children, we had many Christmas traditions. 

The cookies left out for Santa. The Christmas dresses for the girls, picked out and purchased by their dad. The Sunday School productions and school concerts. Driving through neighbourhoods to see the light displays. Going to the tree farm to pick out the best tree ever. The box of used books for the kids to spend Christmas Eve day reading (after having cleaned their bedrooms). Plus so many more!

As I sat at the women’s event, trying to come up with a tradition that has grown up with us, that could be well communicated to a tableful of strangers, I was instantly, frighteningly without a response.

Traditions are beautiful opportunities to celebrate the permanence and stability within a family, workplace or community. They give us opportunities to have clear, shared expectations, memories and anticipations to come in the future.

Days later I was sitting by the lit Christmas tree, thinking of my three, and the mountains of various heights that they were climbing. I was moved to give them and the current events in their lives, to God in prayer.

How easy it is to be reminded to pray when sitting in front of a lighted Christmas tree. It is as though the lights whisper to my soul.

It makes me think of the name Hagar gave to God, 

“So Hagar gave this name (El-roi) to the LORD who had spoken to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “Here I have seen the One who sees me!”” (Genesis 16:13)

The God who sees me …

That is what I experience when I an sitting by the Christmas tree lights … a sense, a reminder that God can see me, for who I am, and I am drawn into his presence as the lights illuminate the room.

And, each Christmas, I sit by the Christmas tree, glowing with lights, and am drawn to bring my loves to Him, to lay them … their burdens at his feet, all the while sensing profoundly that he sees them, that he sees me.

It is not a Christmas tradition, limited to childhood. For it is beyond the cookies and dresses and gifts and carols and all of the Hallmark moments … for it is the gift that can be handed down from generation to generation.

And I pray it is. I pray that our children will know the joy of having seen the One who sees them. That is the tradition that I want to share.

Read Full Post »

Fortnite Fatherhood

A father's digital age journey with his family and his faith

Frijdom

encouraging space to think deeply

His Wings Shadow

Trust ~ Delight ~ Commit ~ Rest

Perfect Chaos

God's Perfect Purpose in a Chaotic World

Life- All over the map

A family journey through childhood cancer and around the world

A L!fe Lived

seeking the full life that only Jesus offers

J. A. Allen

Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins

The Mustard Seed Kingdom

A Blog of the Evangelical Anabaptist Partners

Brittany Wheaton

reflections on living intentionality and soulfully in the midst of the grind

The Wild Heart of Life

"He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life." ...James Joyce

Ishshah's Story

Tell the story. Live the story. Be the story.