As all the details slide into place and our homes are readied for Christmas gatherings, our hearts increasingly incline toward that one holy night long ago.
It's hard to imagine the stillness that pervaded the fields where those shepherds were settled in for the night, a starry sky enfolding them as usual...then to suddenly have an angel appear, bringing Good News... whoa!
It's difficult to wrap our minds around the incredible view awaiting them in that lowly stable...and what it meant for all of us.
As we wrap ourselves in festive sweaters and head toward a candlelight communion service this evening, hopefully we are able to slide out of the bustling holiday prep and focus on the rustling around the manger scene, pausing to reflect on this ultimate gift given UNTO US.
- - - This season is filled with Wonder and deep emotions. - - -
We rejoice in joyful song and enjoy children's eager anticipation of Christmas morn.
Yet we also weep in remembrance of those not with us this year.
Like the inevitable jumble of pesky Christmas lights, joy often gets entangled with grief during these vulnerable moments as we come together to celebrate the birth of Christ, knowing that He came as a Savior to die FOR US. Our own human sorrows get amplified during this heightened awareness of HIS ultimate gift to us.
- - - We sing of "Comfort & Joy" - - -
We laugh - - - and we cry, connected in the tender grace of God and the enduring love of Christ.
As we lean into this holy night, allowing the scattered candlelight to soften our expressions and tug gently at our hearts, we embrace the strength and joy of our family in Christ.
The humble beginning of Christ's birth in that earthy stable long ago is still relevant today for however messy we are. We aren't all prettily packaged and tied up with gleaming bows. We're flawed and well-worn, even a bit frayed around the edges.
We have doubts, concerns, and hopes ...perhaps as Mary did on that miraculous holy night.
In the rush to wish one another "Merry Christmas!" sometimes it helps me slow down to reflect on Mary's Christmas. Not only did she undergo physical labor that night, but her child became the center of mankind's attention and amazement...wow!
"Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." - - - Luke 2:19
May all the deep comfort and joy of this holy night bless each of you as you ponder all these things about Jesus in your own heart!