Boy, do I have a lot to write about!
My brain has just been twirling with ideas these last couple of weeks, but I've been so busy with Christmas gatherings, baking and preparations for traveling, I just haven't been able to sit down and share like I've wanted! I'm so sorry, but trust me...it hurts me a lot more than it hurts you!!=)
I will admit to you though that we never got decorations (including our Christmas tree) up this year. I sort of feel like a bad parent in some respects. I would have loved for Emma to have had the halls of our home decked in Christmas fun. There was just no time. And fortunately, she's still young enough that none of that really matters anyway!
Which got me thinking....
This is the first year that I haven't had a tree up. That tree has symbolized so much for me at Christmastime all my life, yet this year...the year we didn't have one...I've truly "gotten" what Christmas is really all about.
Now don't get me wrong, I know and love that Christmas isn't about trees and Santa and presents and carols and cheesy claymation movies...it's about the birth of Christ. This I have known all my life. But this year, because we didn't decorate and because we've attended Christ-centered events (concerts, small-group parties, and Bible studies) and were placed amongst certain people our focus, instead of on the worldly side of Christmas, was on the whole story of Jesus. Not just His birth, which is an amazing event to celebrate, but His entire story from the Old Testament to the New. And let me tell you...it is magnificant!
He is all over the very first verse of Scripture in Genesis all the way to the very last in Revelation. Jesus...Beginning and End...Alpha and Omega. And He is what we truly celebrated this year!
It's like the age old debate of the Day of Sabbath...seventh day of rest...Saturday or Sunday? If you look in Scripture at the seventh day of creation, there was no statement of ending like with the previous six ("there was evening and there was morning, the first day..."). Genesis 2:2 says, "By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done." No mention of an evening and a day.
I've said it once and I'll say it again, I'm not claiming to know the mind of God, but I do know He's chucked the Bible full of little idiosyncrasies that require pretty in depth examining....just like this.. Having said that, I'm of the thought that though there is probably a literal day of rest we are to take (I don't know which one) the point I think we all too often miss is that we are to rest and delight in the Lord EVERYDAY. The seventh (never-ending) day encompasses that idea for me.
So too, Christ's birth, life and death aren't meant to just be celebrated on Christmas or any other man made Holiday. We are meant to rest, delight, worship, praise and celebrate our Savior's life story (in it's entirety) every day of the year and of our existence. It's why we were made.
That's not to say we won't ever have a Christmas tree again. I assure you we will. And we'll even be curling up to watch Frosty the Snowman for years to come, but being reminded of the simple truth of Christ and what we should be celebrating each and everyday was nice. I think it's a good note to end 2009 on.
With that in mind, I'm taking the next couple of weeks off from blogging. We'll be traveling for Christmas and then it's the New Year. In that time I'd like to focus on what I've mentioned above, but also my family and prayer about where God wants me to go with my blog in 2010. He has given me many great insights already about things to share, but I know there is more so I need to spend some time just listening to His direction. In the mean time, I will miss you all, I'll miss writing and I can't wait to gear right back up starting Janunary 1st.
From our family to yours, we wish you a beautiful Christmas.
We pray that you have many blessings this Holiday Season. May the love and joy that is Christ Jesus be with you now and always.
Jon, Kelli and Miss Emma
(photo by Amber Davis @ ClassiclyAmber Photography)