Saturday, December 26, 2009
The current holiday season is always one of mixed emotions for us. It’s such a joyous time as we think about the most important part, the Incarnation and what that means for the brethren in Christ. Then there is the hugs and kisses with family who gravitate to our home, and the special once-every-twelve-months hours spent with children, their spouses, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Then the emotions of the experience swings the other way; they begin to leave for their several homes, 2000, 1400 kilometres away, then 250, and thankfully, one only 80 kilometres. All but the latter, a single daughter, whom we see regularly, we hug and kiss on an annual basis, because we are now not able to travel to them. How precious those hugs and kisses are, they have to last twelve months!
This time was extra special, because they very carefully sprang a belated, surprise 70th birthday celebration, something which I had sternly told them not to do. Of course, like children everywhere, they had a well-reasoned excuse for their disobedience, “You didn’t forbid it for four months later!”
Two sons and their wives, who are unable to be with us for Christmas, made the effort to join in this forbidden celebration.
I thank God for such earthly exhibition of love and gratitude.
Even more so, I thank God for His majestic exhibition of love towards this most undeserving creature, and that my wife and children, with me above, have also received of that heavenly love, “by grace through faith”, and celebrate with us. I pray that will be true for our grandchildren, as well as our great-grandchildren with Valerie and I in the photo above.
Friday, December 4, 2009
We celebrated! We couldn’t help ourselves when our poinciana tree bloomed in such an amazingly magnificent manner, as the picture shows. Forgive the superlatives, but it was stupendously beautiful. We both said we had never seen a poinciana flower so magnificently before. We are biased! It is OUR tree, which we planted six years ago. And look at it now.
We who are followers of Christ get excited every Christmas season, and we celebrate with all kinds of traditional and non-traditional ways. Some of us seem to forget that, here in Queensland, we live in a hot climate. Consequently our traditions rule our behavior and we celebrate the same way our brethren do in the colder parts of the world, with many eating sumptuous hot meals in celebration!
I’d rather cold meats and salads any day! Everyone to his/her own liking!
We also give gifts, which I trust,help to remind us of the greatest Gift of all, the Almighty Creator, God incarnate (becoming man) as the promised Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.
What an amazingly stupendous and magnificent act of love and grace. There are no superlative sufficient to describe the wonder of it! Mind boggling in both its complexity and its simplicity, especially when we understand God's intent.
As with every Christmas, this year I cannot help but wonder why those claiming to be followers of Jesus Christ,don’t celebrate the fact that Christmas has far greater implications: This incarnation event had far more purpose than simply a stunningly amazing entrance into the world. It's powerful purpose was for Jesus Christ to live the life we cannot live, AND to shed His life blood until death overtook Him, to satisfy His own justice,revealing the indescribable love and mercy that our God has towards all who would receive Him in repentance and faith,.
But death could not hold Him. On the first day of the week He defeated death and hell. It was on this day that His earthly work was finished. He had sealed His place as our New Covenant Savior, brother and friend. His resurrection was the guarantee of resurrection to all who are His, and for whom death has no fear.
Why don't those claiming to be followers of Jesus Christ, celebrate every first day of the week, Resurrection Day? It was on this day that His earthly work was finished. He had hung on a cross to pay for my sin and all who would receive Him in repentance and faith.
Let’s think beyond the tradition, the emotion and warm feelings about a baby in a manger, and think about whom this baby is, and why He came to this earth in the miraculous way He did, and why EVERY day of the week is a day for reflection, rejoicing, and celebration.
Is our relationship with the King of Kings, which He paid for, worth only Christmas and Easter, two days a year of happiness and joyous celebration? Why do we separate the two as if there is no connection between them?
I give thanks to our heavenly Father for His provision and blessings during this past year, and, with you celebrate!
Have a happy, and reflective Christmas!