Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's October, and I love it!

Do you know what October means? Other than leaves changing colors, soups on the stove (amen!), and spider webs on doorsteps? It means there's only two more months till Christmas!! Yup. Two months. Actually, 65 days, if you don't count today. Only 65 days!
Now, why am I so excited? Is it because I get to buy, buy, buy everybody a bunch of last minute junk that gets thrown away the day after? Is it because I get to sit through the family gatherings of plastic smiles in the midst of struggle and heartache for the sake of "peace and joy"? Is it because I love to cook, bake, eat and serve food that warms the tummy and heart? Hmmm....
Nope. I love to curl up next to the fire, breath in the aroma of evergreen and cinnamon, and sing. Not Jingle Bells, not Oh, Christmas Tree, and certainly not Here Comes Santa Claus. But instead I repeat Away In A Manger, Oh, Holy Night, and Silent Night over and over again. Why?
Joy in my inner most being, at the hope that Father God in heaven gave us when Christ was born. The hope of eternity with Him, resting in His arms with His comfort and His peace flooding my heart with warmth.
I remember the dark places I wandered before I knew the Savior as my friend. I look out the window at the cold dark, I inhale the merciful breath of today, and I stop to say thank you for the light. Thank you for the gift of Christ, the Light of the world, the truth in the midst of dark lies. I remember where I've been, where I am, and where the Lord is taking me. And I am filled, brimming, with peace.
How can I not like Christmas? It's celebration and excitement as I anticipate the evening of Christmas Eve, when the kids can stay up late sipping hot cocoa with us by the tree, being warmed by the fire, singing, all together, the melodies of Christ's birth. Teaching them of the love of Father in heaven who has blessed us beyond our desires....teaching them of the gift of Christ.
Mmmmm...I love Christmas. I pray that in these next 65 days of preparation and anticipation you will find that place of joy and rest, peace and hope in reflecting on the beautifully bundled gift of baby Jesus. The baby who became the man who died so that we may live.

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.
Isaiah 9:2
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; to give his people the knowledge of salvation of the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Luke 1:76-79