I jumped in with both feet to the Christmas season. I got my lights up this year BEFORE Thanksgiving. Don’t stone me. We had a great Thanksgiving, perhaps the best ever, all 30 plus of us. My kids agree. The lights weren’t a distraction. They simply added to the mood and announced, “Let’s celebrate and be thankful.” We can use two major holidays (literally “holy days”) to our advantage.
I’m doing something new this year; I am keeping the lights on all night. Hey, someone is going to drive by at 3 AM and say, “Look at those beautiful lights.” I just helped with a boring commute to work.
Mary and Joseph announce our Christmas every year by gazing into the feeding trough on the front lawn. (Okay, it’s really a short stool). Their devotion calls me to do the same. I want to meditate again on the Scriptures that might otherwise breed boredom for their familiarity. They are announcing the incredible descent from glory to shame, from the highest place to the lowest, from the throne to the barn out back. Wait a minute. Is that the way it was supposed to be? Couldn’t God have done better with His Firstborn? Yes, but He chose to make a point–He is for the outcast and the downcast.
More lights than ever this time around–inside and out. Light’s a good thing. God said, “Let there be light,” so I follow Him. Light always wins over the darkness. It is a law of physics. Go ahead. Open the closet door. Does darkness invade the bedroom, or does light penetrate the dark closet? I want to be a champion of the light, in my heart, in my home, in my relationships–okay, in my Christmas decorations.
We are playing the Christmas CDs daily. We do not tire of wonderful Christmas hymns that are not sung the rest of the year, tunes with great theology, like “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” We also enjoy the lighthearted melodies that help to put us in a merry spirit. What a gift music is to elevate the spirit and draw us into the powerful message of the Creator coming into His creation.
We launched this year’s Christmas celebration on the first Sunday of Advent by attending the Christmas concert at Northcentral University. Good decision. Wonderful and edifying music. You have permission to enjoy this beautiful season to the utmost!
Nate Johnstone’s message Sunday on the incarnation kicked things off for Lydia House in a profound way. The mystery of this truth cannot be overestimated. That “the word became flesh” goes past what the mind can grasp. The heart must receive it first–and marvel. Let’s do it!
How about lighting Advent candles? We do. Just as a season in Lent prepares of for the smashing glory of Easter, so four weeks of Advent get us ready for the powerful day of Christmas. The resurrection story does not grip as much when we haven’t thought about Calvary, about denying ourselves and taking up the cross. Good Friday anticipates brilliant Sunday. And so Advent announces that “the King is coming.” Prepare to meet Him, whether He comes by way of the barn out back or on a horse with fire in His eyes! Come, Lord Jesus!