Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, that’s what you hear this time of year. As we were leaving the store, the cashier wished us a Merry Christmas. In response, we of course replied with a Merry Christmas to her as well. Leaving church this past Sunday, everyone was wishing each other a Merry Christmas and safe travels for those who were traveling to see family. As Christians, we often say that people miss the real reason for the season. Maybe you’re a Christian who has uttered those very words. Or you may not even know Jesus as your personal savior. We’ve heard the story of the birth of Jesus but let’s go back and check it out.

Luke 2:11 “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

Joseph is nervously pacing the living room of his best friend’s home wondering if she’ll say yes. We don’t know his friend’s name but we’re going to call him Matthew.

Joseph, seriously you need to quit pacing. You’ve been courting Mary for well over two years now and you received her father’s approval to marry his daughter. Why just last week at dinner with Zacharias and Elizabeth, you shared your plans with them and they were excited for you both. Even Elizabeth her relative, said that Mary will say yes. She of all people would know.

Matthew, what if she says no? Then what? I love Mary so much that I can’t imagine life without her.

Mary will say yes, if you only get the nerve to ask.

Can you imagine a conversation like this taking place? And after she agrees the excitement and joy he must have felt upon their engagement?

Matt! She said yes! Mary said yes! We are getting married!

I told you man, I knew she would say yes. You are a good man and it’s obvious to everyone around you that you belong together.

And then the unexpected happens. Joseph discovers Mary is pregnant and not by him. They hadn’t even been together. What?! How can this be? He decides he can’t be with someone he can’t trust and plans on breaking things off in secret. His heart broken by what he presumes to be an unfaithful betrothed, he falls into a troubled sleep where the truth comes out in a dream.

Matthew 1:20-21, 24-25 “But while he thought about these things, behold, and angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.'” “Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.”

Can you imagine what Joseph must have been thinking? I like to imagine he must have thought something like this: “wow, my wife is carrying the Savior of the world”. The awe he must have felt knowing that he would be a part of raising the Savior. A humble man and woman, chosen parents to raise the Savior as a normal child. Can you imagine looking into the face of this tiny baby knowing that He was Royalty and you had the responsibility to raise Him?

Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Jesus is the reason for the season. He came that we might live. His shoulders are strong and can bear our burdens. He’s waiting for you.

Christmas Cheer

My favorite time of year to decorate.

Keeping it simple – most of my ornaments are handmade by our son from when he was in elementary school, some are from my sister, and some are from my mom. 🙂

I love putting up the tree and set out my village sets.

North Pole – Not sure if you can see him or not but the pup won the race beating out Santa and Mrs. Claus and Santa’s workers. 🙂
The Village – After all the elves need a place to shop when they aren’t working. 🙂

Putting out the village sets, I was like a kid in the candy store trying to pick out his or her favorite candy only to discover that all of the candy are favorites. It’s a good thing you weren’t here as I decorated. I’m sure you would have shaken your head in wonder. I was talking to the villages telling each piece where it would be placed and how, when you arrive at the train station, you had to be sure to stop by the radio station before making your way to the church. I even told the pup that won the race, that next week he would come in last, so one of Santa’s workers could have a shot at first place. Of course they will all eventually make it to first place it’s only fair. That’s right, a kid in the candy store.

As I was decorating, setting each piece out with care, making sure to find just the right spot, I thought about the time and care that God took when He created the universe and mankind. I could almost visualize His eyes twinkling with anticipation as He rubbed His chin thinking about every detail and the love He would put into it all. Can you see it? Can you imagine the canvas and palette of colors as he created the universe? The loving details He placed in each one of us? Oh to see the joy on His face as He created His masterpieces. I can imagine Him whispering to each us Jeremiah 29:11 reminding us of the things He wants for us.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

One of my favorite verses, it is a perfect reminder of what He wants for us. Peace. Future. Hope.

It is my prayer that if you don’t already have it, that you will find your peace, your future, and your hope in Him. God bless!