Carrying Christmas On

Christmas draws closer by the moment.  As I’ve said, the “hustle and bustle” are over here and we are enjoying slowing down – watching movies, reading books, baking yummy foods, just feeling a greater sense of rest.

I love the beginning of the Christmas season.  Putting up the decorations.  The delicious smells.  The warmth.  The wonder and anticipation.  The excitement of so many special traditions about to be done again.  And each day that passes is somewhat bittersweet, knowing that soon the wonder will be over and life will go on (yes, I have a bit of an inner Eeyore).

But someone shared recently in church that Christmas isn’t the beginning, any more than Good Friday is the end.  This Jesus, He is the one who was and is and is to come.  So how can we live in the light of Christmas year round?  Can we carry this wonder and joy into the new year?  Can we experience the mystery of God taking on human flesh on a rainy spring day?  Can we delight in the thought of baby Jesus swaddled in the manger when it’s 90 degrees in July?  Can we continue to imagine the wise men bowing low as leaves turn gold?

Can we live, as Simeon did, always in anticipation of the arrival of the Messiah?  Because He is coming again, you know.  We live in a long advent now, always awaiting His return, and shouldn’t our joy and hope be even greater because we know that He is coming back and He will come as a conquering King and He will make all things right?

I do have that inner-Eeyore, a tendency to get down when life gets uncomfortable or inconvenient or just plain mundane.  But I want to carry the wonder of Christmas with me, to remember that something even greater is coming, and that we are to wait with eager anticipation for His glory to be revealed.

December 21, 2011  He truly is the reason for every season.

I’m not sure yet what this looks like, this carrying of Christmas through the year, but I want to continue this sense of wonder and joy, amazement at all He is and is doing and is going to do.  Perhaps this is part of what the counting of gifts does.  Keeps our eyes open to His goodness to us, His love for us, not just once a year under a tree, but year round as He shows us He loved us enough to die on a tree.

And that is what it’s about, isn’t it?  The wonder of it all is that He does love us enough that He came to take on flesh, live life as a man, and die for one such as me, such as you.  The wonder of it all!

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a Virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He

Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He

Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

‘Cause living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore

Death could not hold Him
The grave could not keep Him from rising again

Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day
Glorious day

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my beloved one bringing
My Savior Jesus is mine

Living He loved me, dying He saved me
And buried He carried my sins far away
Rising He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming, oh, glorious day, oh, glorious day
Glorious day, oh, glorious day

(by Casting Crowns)

Oh, Lord, as Christmas comes and goes, let me never forget the wonder of you.  Let me carry through the coming year the mystery of you coming as a babe to die as a man – for me, for all of us.  Oh, glorious day!

For His Glory ~

~ Sara

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