Tuesday, December 25, 2007
keeping the main thing the main thing at christmas
those of you who've visited in our various homes over the years know that we're not really a christmas tree family. it just isn't our kind of thing. from the beginning of m's and my marriage, we wanted our decorating to point to the true meaning of christmas -- to Jesus and to the people he loves and came to save. for that reason, our tradition is to put up nativity scenes throughout the house and prominently display the christmas photos of friends and families as they come in. m has a nice little collection of creches from around the world, all the more impressive because they've come with us through all of our many moves. the one above is from mexico; the one below is from poland.
to be honest, this has not been the most Christ-centered advent season for most of our family, perhaps especially me. the many unusual emergencies that have come up this month haven't made it any easier to focus on Jesus and to meditate on why he came. i was feeling pangs of regret about that yesterday, apologizing to God during my prayer time, and felt like God's response was, "it's never too late." i was greatly relieved at the reminder, and resolved that this would be my first day of christmas (kind of like the old twelve days of christmas tradition). later that day, i was helping m find some of her christmas decorations and finally discovered my liquid candles -- an aid to my devotional life that i've been missing since we left montreal. i had actually given up on finding them and recently told b that a new liquid candle would be a great christmas gift for me. instead, God gave them back to me at just the right time.
last night, we had our first real family advent gathering; it was a wonderful time to come together to seek God. after all of these years -- now 26 as a christian -- i'm surprised at how easily i can lose my focus, even at a time of year that is set aside to celebrate Jesus. and i am grateful to be part of a family that encourages and exhorts me back to the things that really matter.