Many are posting beautiful meditations on the Christmas story today. Go here to read about 'humbling holidays', here to 'wonder', and here to read about an 'incarnation conversation'. I am grateful for my articulate friends who can turn their meditations into poem or prose from which we can all benefit.
Today, I am finding myself surprisingly vulnerable to temptation. Though I realize I shouldn't be surprised by temptation as my flesh never takes a vacation nor does the enemy of my soul. I guess functionally I did assume I could be carried by the joy of having friends and family near, the anticipation of good food, opening presents and reading the familiar passage in Luke 2 and not have to purpose to depend on Christ, the One we do all this for (right?!). But, I find myself early on in the day on Christmas Eve particularly vulnerable and needing to run to my only Hope...Jesus...thank you for being tempted in every way and yet never sinning. Thank you for enduring this sin sick world and ultimately the cross where you suffered the full wrath of your Father, now my God, with whom you only knew perfect harmony. Thank you for defeating death so that I would one day know eternal life. And thank you, today, for the day you initiated all of this and more: the day of your birth.
Today, I will prepare a turkey and stuffing for my family to eat, tidy up my kitchen, try to set a nice table, bring in fresh pine from outside for a lovely fragrance, address Christmas cards and pack to travel to PA to see more family tomorrow. I want to do it all as a sacrifice to you, Jesus. I want to do it all remembering for whom I do it. I want to do it all depending entirely on your grace and not my self effort.
One day we will not make anymore Christmas dinners, address anymore Christmas cards. No more treking out to the Christmas tree farm for the beloved Christmas tree. No more drives to see Christmas lights. No more Cantatas or Live Nativities to drag the kids to see. We will one day do no more of these things because we will be face to face with the One for whom we do all these things. My dad, 4 grandparents, precious Livi and others are just watching us in all our activity as they enjoy Christ Himself. Thank you, Lord, that one day I'll join them. Help me to honor You today with that hope of tomorrow.