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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

chaos, Christmas, & Christ

I have been moaning the fact that my Christmas season has been so far from calm. A crammed schedule and unexpected events combined with all the shopping, baking, and wrapping have just not given me many quiet evenings watching the lights on my tree and sipping cocoa.

I'm kind-of a broken record now for those who have been around me lately, but I am rethinking this whole chaos thing. I think the first Christmas was nothing if not chaotic--unplanned births, sudden trips, shepherds in the delivery room . . . And despite our warm fuzzy songs about chestnuts roasting on the fire and watching the frightful weather while munching popcorn, I believe most Christmas seasons are still a little crazy. Why do we write those songs and dream up those placid images? It's what we want, what would be nice, but what rarely happens in the frantic pace of our world. We all talk about slowing down next year at this time, but come on, who's going to do it? Are we really going to stop participating in the church program or baking goodies for the neighbors? We can cut out a few things, but the busyness will remain.

So, if you are blessed with a quiet night somewhere in this season, relish it with me. But don't curse the chaos. Be blessed with the spirit of the season and be thankful for the Christ who brings us tidings of comfort and joy.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

winter has charms

Winter has charms that summer can't boast.
No sunny skies nor sandal shod feet
Not tart lemonade nor welcoming heat.

Winter has magic of sparkle and ice.
The skaters whirl and twirl on its pond.
The trees wear glitter fresh from its wand.

Winter has glamour and drama in white.
Snowmen guard streets with children at play.
Frost glows on windows at end of the day.

Winter has enchantment in chill and snow.
Crystal days, frozen nights, landscapes with icing,
Ne'er summer day has been so enticing.
--Valorie Quesenberry

Friday, December 5, 2008

light needed

I realized something. Light makes all the difference. Before going to Tennessee for Thanksgiving with my family, I put up some of my Christmas decor. I didn't' have time to put up the tree, though, and so didn't get into the box with the strands of lights. My end tables, mantel, and shelves were lavish with Christmas glam, but there was something missing.

Last night, we finally got the tree up, and I started stringing lights onto the garland surrounding my other ornaments. And voile! There was holiday sparkle at last. What was just pretty baubles became beautiful vignettes when the lights were added.

It reminded me that Christ is the light that makes the holiday glow warm in our world. Without Him, the trinkets of the season are dull . With Him, this time of year shines brightly in our hearts and through us into a dark world.

The prophet said "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwelled in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. (Isaiah 9:2)

That verse is for Christmas 2008 too.
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