I would like to start by wishing everyone who reads this a wonderful Christmas eve and day! If you happen upon this, and don't know the true meaning of Christmas, then I would hate to miss the opportunity to tell you what it is all about. It is about more than presents, Christmas trees and decorations. It's even about more than having family around. Truthfully, it's about more than just the birth of Christ. It's about the birth of the savior. The one who yes, was born on this day, but also who died for us! To save us from our sins.
I heard a church service recently that put it very simply:
"Hark the herold angel's sing
Glory to the new born king
Peace on Earth and mercy mild
GOD AND SINNERS RECONCILED"
Christmas is about the reconciliation of sinners with God. It could only happen through our Lord Jesus Christ - and the miraculous birth of Christ in a manger to the virgin Mary started the whole reconciliation process.
I need to spend more time this Christmas remembering that. Remembering what it is all about.
When I was young, I used to think that Christmas was all about the presents, the Christmas lights, Santa and snow. Thank goodness that is not what it is all about, because here in South Carolina, we have no snow, there are lights on the trees, but I've come to learn that Santa is not real and that the presents can disappear - all it takes is losing a job, having a family member sick or a multitude of other things. Thank goodness I have learned the true meaning of Christmas - it's all about Christ and the process that started the day of His birth.
Tonight we will go to our Christmas Eve church service, and afterward we will go have a Christmas Eve celebration with friends. While the food will be good, and it will be great to be with friends, I hope when I come home tonight, I spend some time thinking about what it really is about.
Today was the first day of a much needed Christmas vacation. We aren't doing a whole lot of anything, but spending time with family and friends and getting some things done around the house. The kids will open their gifts tomorrow morning and I'll watch the smile on their faces as they open their treasures. I love watching kids open their gifts. Anna will put reindeer food out for Santa's reindeer and in the morning she will surely have a story of how she woke up and saw Santa peeking in her door, or heard the reindeer on the roof. It's not so bad to let a kid be a kid. Tonight though, as we are in church, they will hear (as they do every year) what it really means - - that even without the tree, the gifts or Santa, there is still Christmas. Christmas came before all of that. I wonder if we'll celebrate Christmas in Heaven? I wonder if we celebrate our birthdays in Heaven - 0ur physical birthday? Or maybe our spiritual birthday? I'm not sure, but I look forward to finding out.
Tomorrow I will try to capture pictures of the kids. I got my Christmas present a bit early... I got a new camera, but I'm still trying to figure it out. I currently can't manage to get a lens on it, or take a picture. Heather will help me with that tonight though. Surely I will have it figured out by the time we make our trip to Ethiopia to get our little Sara Joy.... which is the reason I wanted it in the first place. Hopefully this is our last Christmas without our little girl.
Heather - if you are reading this... the apple pie is made (still warm and smells YUMMY), the spicy dip is warming and some crazy socks are coming your way for you and your mom!!! We're looking forward to spending Christmas Eve with your family.
Merry Christmas to Tim, Cameron and Anna! I love you all very much.