Sunday, December 25, 2005
God uses, Oh, such humble Things:
A swatch of hay, a stable crude,
A swaddle cloth, a manger rude,
a donkey colt, a young, sweet girl,
To hold the hope of all the world-
The King of Kings-
Such little things.
by Margaret Penner Toews
God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;The warmth of Christmas, which is love;The belief in Christmas, which is truth;The all of Christmas, which is Christ.-- Wilda English
Saturday, December 24, 2005
That sacred night was just the beginning of a life of service teaching and great sacrifice, Jesus never traded His manager for a mansion, nor did he surround himself with powerful or wealthy friends. The rich were always amazed by Him, but few worshipped Him like Magi. And the Shepherds? They became the model for how He wanted to care for those who loved Him. the angel declared, "I bring you good news of great joy for everyone!" And it's as true today as it was that night!
Friday, December 23, 2005
Some months later, baby Jesus received a visit from a group of international travelers, Magi from the east. They had followed a special star in the sky, which they interpreted as announcing a newborn King of the Jews. They brought with them expensive gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, and when they saw Jesus, they fell down before Him and worshipped Him. They were the first of a host of people from every corner of the world who would someday also worship Him.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
When the brilliance of the angel's presence had vanished from the night sky, the Shepherds shook their heads and looked at each other in disbelief. Then their curiosity got the best of them and they literally ran to find this baby who was special enough to have an angelic introduction. When they found Him, they told everyone about the angels. Afterwards, they went home to take care of their cheep, still amazed at what had happened. What a night they were having.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
With the Son of God now newly born on Earth, it was time to make an official announcement. That night, with a touch of the over dramatic, an angel suddenly appeared to a group of sherpherds who were living in the fields with their sheep.
Absolutely terrified, the shepherds listened to the news of the birth of the Messiah and took note of the specific directions for finding Him. Then the angel was joined by a mass of others and they treated the Shepherds to a chorus of praises to God.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
The birth took place on a busy night in the middle of a national Roman census. It must have been the most profoundly understated way that a prince has ever been born! With the local inn full, the young first time mother wrapped her tiny baby in some cloths and laid him down in an animals eating trough. No fireworks, no international headlines, no royal retinue. Just a mother and father destined to be the caregivers for a divine child.
Monday, December 19, 2005
The drama began one day when an angel dressed in shining brilliance suddenly appeared to a young unmarried woman. She was told that God had chosen her to be the mother of the Savior of the world!
She would become pregnant through the work of the Holy Spirit before her wedding and the child would be the Son of God! Naturally she was afraid of her finacee's reaction but an angle visted him one night and explained to him what had happened. With the assurance that God was in control, the couple prepared for the most important birth that has ever occured in all history.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
I found the spirit of Christmas alive and well and living on four blocks of Trinity Street in Vancouver. Tonight, tired from days of shopping, cleaning and cooking in preparation for the holiday, we armed armed ourselves with a list of decorated houses, a warm car (the temperature was -2)and a determination to find the true spirit of Christmas somewhere. We figured these folks, who spend hours decorating their houses every year and pay enormous hydro bills just so that looky loos like us can enjoy the sight, must know something about the Christmas spirit. We stopped at various light shows all the way from Port Moody to Vancouver. There were some very beautiful and creative light displays all along the way and it is obvious that some people have put a great deal of time and effort into it. However, none more so than the folks who live on four blocks of Trinity Street in Vancouver. Not only have they decorated their houses they have convinced EVERY person on those blocks to do the same! I can't convince three of my neighbors to agree to anything let alone get them to decorate their houses for charity for a solid month and put up with the traffic and noise all night long. As well, we arrived on the one night that they have a street fair with food and hot drinks and carollers and Santa Claus and his elves. There was so much fun and laughter and good wishes being exchanged and every nickle raised goes to charity. These people have truly discovered the meaning of Christmas. It's not what you get, it is what you give and there is not greater gift you can give than the gift of your self. This neighborhood has much to teach the rest of us about good will and Christmas!
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
The decorating is done, the parcels are purchased, wrapped (for the most part)and mailed (when necessary) and the food is purchased. The farther into the festivities we get the more difficult to remember why we drive ourselves so hard every holiday season. So tonight as I sat exhausted in front of the computer trying to get my brain to finish the last of the Christmas cards and letters and pondering this question, I aimlessly began to look through my Christmas file. I found something that reminded me of exactly what the season is about.
This card from a dear friend with words of friendship and caring was lovingly made and sent to me a long time ago. Tonight it made me realize that friendship and caring and love are "the real reasons for the season"
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Monday, December 12, 2005
On Saturday, in between bottling wine and shopping for Christmas gifts for those last people on my list that are so difficult to buy for, I stopped at Rocky Point Park for a breath of fresh air. I discovered this bird sitting on top of the light standard. I decided right there that next year I would like to be a bird and sit upon a light standard on a sunny cold day mid December. All us silly people below racing around trying to create a perfect Christmas day when all you had to do was look around you to see that perfect had already been created by the Creator and no amount of buying or decorating could ever match the beauty this bird could view all around him.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
It is the first snow of the season. I am not ready for it. I try to see the snow as something of beauty - something pleasant. Instead I merely see it as something to be endured.
Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, "I'm going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that's tough. I am going to snow anyway." Maya Angelou