Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Promise

Christmas Ornament by YO$HIMI

It's here again already. I don't know where the time goes anymore. Remember when you were a child and it seemed as though time dragged by kicking and screaming, not wanting to go into the future but remain ever in the present? Remember the boredom, and the longing for that next big event waiting ahead just outside of your reach? Summer vacation... Christmas... birthday... graduation... your first car... your first job... marriage... children...

Anymore, I find myself the one who is digging in my heels wanting the fast spin to stop and let me rest for just a moment. Where does the time go...

I find myself once again at the beginning of the season of Promise. Thanksgiving is a memory. There might be some leftovers still in the refrigerator, but other than that, it has faded into the past where all events go. We can stand wistfully looking over our shoulders, trying to catch a glimpse of it behind us, or we can choose to look forward.

I don't celebrate the holiday season; I celebrate Christmas. I choose to celebrate not so much with the giving of gifts that support our commercial culture, but rather by remembering why we celebrate. It is our small, attempt to re-enact the most perfect, and best gift that was ever given. 

Sometimes when we give gifts, we do it expecting something in return. We may not mean to be that way. But, it's human nature. We expect to give and then receive. Sometimes we even want to receive first and then we'll consider giving! We are also very choosy about who will receive our gifts. After all, we can't just give a gift to everyone. And, there are some people in our lives who deserve a better gift than others. So, we budget, and shop accordingly and bless others through giving the best that we know how.

But there was a better gift, a perfect gift. And that is what we celebrate. 

Approximately 2,000 years ago a gift was given. It was given freely, with no strings attached, and no expectation other than it be received. No one got a bigger, better gift. The exact same gift was given to everyone, because this gift couldn't be earned. It was a gift of ultimate love and sacrifice.

The perfect gift was unveiled in a simple manger, in the form of a baby boy. 

He is our hope, our promise, our savior. His birth was planned and foretold as long ago as the fall of man. 

From now on, you and the woman will be enemies, and your offspring and her offspring will be enemies. He will crush your head and you will strike his heel. 
~Genesis 3:15 (NLT)

This is what I celebrate. I invite you to join me on a journey this month. Together, we will search out the promises of the coming King, and rekindle in our hearts the true meaning of Christmas.

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