This Christmas

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100_3939.2This Christmas has crept into my soul slowly.  I am sitting here looking at the lights wrapped in tulle on my fireplace wall and the little tree lights peeking in from the Music room and I realize that sitting quietly (as quietly as you can with a game on in the background), soaking in the lights and allowing the redeeming grace of love’s pure light to sink to the bottom of your soul is the only thing that really matters.

The decorations don’t have to be major or perfect, the gifts don’t have to be extravagant and the food doesn’t have to be over the top.  Simple can suffice. (And the excitement of a Bengals touchdown can apparently break through the calm without making the lights flicker too much before all settles back to calm and bright.)

Earlier in the season when Rod Stewart was crooning in my ear and reminding me about baby Jesus (really, if you read it once, no need to again, but if you’re curious go on over and I’ll be here when you come back) I had one of those moments when you begin to realize a deep truth. A truth that has been marinating in my soul all season.  I realized that we go to a lot of trouble to make one day perfect. We act as if Christmas Day only comes once a year.  We get all in a frenzy making sure we have our list checked off and everything planned and synchronized.  We exhaust ourselves shopping and cooking and trying to fit in one more event.

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We say that it is because of Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.  But, I have to wonder if that is what we are doing.  Because I’m not so sure we are really focusing on the Holy Infant, tender and mild.  In light of the significance of his birth, Christmas is every day.  The day of his birth was the dawn of redeeming grace.  It wasn’t just for that one day, to be remembered once a year.  It is a Hallelujah event to be celebrated every day.

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There is nothing wrong with trees and baubles, parties and great food, or sharing gifts with family and friends.  However, if those things become our focus and wear us down to the point of becoming Scrooge, then I think we have to examine our priorities.  That is what I decided to do.

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When Rod sang Silent Night, the words really sank in more than ever before. I realized I wanted my focus to be on Christ, the Savior is born, so, I made a list of things to remember this Christmas.  Maybe it will help you remember too!

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May you find Heavenly peace wrapped in grace,

Teresa

A few more pictures…

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Believe the Hope!

“Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.  This is why it was credited to him as righteousness.” –Romans 4: 20-21

Giving birth at 90? Sarah laughed at such a preposterous thought.  Not Abraham.  Even though he knew they were old and it seemed impossible by most standards, he knew God was bigger.  He knew God kept his promises.  So when all hope seemed gone, Abraham believed anyway.

What about you?  Does all hope seem gone?  Will you believe anyway?  Do you know that God is bigger and he always keeps his promises?

He is and he does.  Just read the story of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac – God not only gave them a son, but through that son Abraham became the father of many nations. God kept his promise to Abraham.

One promise that threads throughout scripture from beginning to end is the hope of a Messiah, a King.  His story weaves a breathtaking tapestry from the lowly stable birth, to the beautiful horror of the cross and will culminate in the triumphant return for his bride.

Many didn’t believe that a baby in a manger could possibly be their hope of a king.  They scoffed at such a preposterous thought.  But he was and is the long awaited King and he brings hope in the fulfillment of the greatest promise ever made.  Eternal life for all who believe and accept his gift freely given.

What about you?  Do you believe that the baby came for you, that the man died for you, that the King will return for you?

He did and he will.  Just read the story in the Gospels that tells of the birth of a Messiah, the Crucifixion of a Savior and the hope of a King’s return.

Then decide for yourself if you believe the hope! God has the power to do what he promised.  If you do not waver and are strengthened in your faith God will credit it to you as righteousness. And just as he did with Abraham long ago, he will keep his promise to you.

The best way to celebrate the birth of a King is to accept his promise and start living in hope.

Merry Christmas!  See you in about a week or so!

Love,

Sadie Grace