Well I’ve made it through all the holiday performances, parties, programs and recitals rather unscathed this year. I was telling my co-workers yesterday that it’s rather funny that I still have not bought a present one (and it’s not due to my procrastination issues, ha). Usually at this point in time, with only five days till Christmas remaining, my shopping IS most definitely DONE, but not this year.
My boss asked me the question. . .”Was it because of my working this year, that I hadn’t done so yet?”. . . I replied with, well I think so. But as I began to think further about it, I think there is a deeper answer to that question. While we do live in a pretty remote area and shopping local is very limited (like Walmart). We have not had the opportunity to go elsewhere shopping as of yet. The thing is, I’m not fretting about it in the least. We will get away to do some shopping here in the next day or two, and it will all be good. I think for the first time in years, I’m trying to purposefully focus on the “real reason” for the season and not letting all the details bog me down. It’s about remaining present in the moment and trying to enjoy each thing as it comes along, instead of focusing on all the things yet undone.
Last Sunday I was able to fill in for one of my Sunday School teachers and I taught a Christmas lesson. I shared with the kids about the real reason for celebrating Christmas and then we had a birthday party for Jesus! It just brought me such joy to share these truths. It was exciting to get them thinking beyond all the trees, lights and presents! Also, God has really worked in my heart over the past year and I feel that he is giving me such a “peace.” A peace that transcends all understanding, yes HE is reigning in my heart, and I’m so grateful!
Taking part in our church’s annual “Singing Christmas Tree” was a true blessing also. It ran for the first week in December with a total of six performances. I think that it helped set my heart in a good place to start the Christmas season. The message in this years Annual Tree was excellent and really resonated in my soul. One of my favorite songs was called, “Hope is Born Again.” The message of that song alone really spoke to me, some of the lyrics are as follows . . . Somewhere in the twilight, a star of wonder shines, and a carol breaks the silence, to remind this heart of mine . . . Love has stepped across the sky, from the other side. . . God came near to us, he is here with us. The Father reaches out his hand, to every child of man, make it known, we are not alone. Like a tiny flame, fanned by a winter wind . . . Hope is born again.
The bible says . . .Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:1–5
YES, Jesus is my hope and my joy! The fact that God sent his son to this earth, to set an example for us on how to live. To be the ransom for our sins. To bridge the gap between sinful man and a perfect Savior. HIS love has been poured out for us through the birth of his son, and it overflows into our hearts through the work of the Holy Spirit! Thank you God for the best gift ever, your precious son JESUS! You are our Emmanuel and you God, are “with us!”
Father God I thank you for the peace you have brought to my heart this holiday season! Thank you for your son! Help me to continue to embrace the Joy of the holidays by keeping my focus on YOU! I pray if there is someone reading this that does not know you and have that joy, that you father would draw them unto yourself, that you would become their Lord and Savior and you would fill them with your presence and peace. You are an awesome God, and I praise you for you goodness to me. Glory to you King Jesus, our Prince of Peace! AMEN