I feel like I have celebrated Christmas every day this month, not just today, Christmas Eve. There have been so many joyous momemts, from the day after Thanksgiving when my husband and I go to The Growing Place for fresh greens to adorn the house, to the ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas exhibit at Naper Settlement. (Complete with “antique” copies of the book I used to read to my classes in third grade.)
There was my son’s birthday on the 7th, when he turned 29, and a luncheon at Knox Presbyterian church where I heard my dear friend Carol present A Reel Meaning of Christmas. I have made cookies, and drunk coffee with my beloved parents, and hosted my husband’s family for Christmas last Saturday, complete with individual meat pies for everyone and a roasted turkey to share.
Every morning I open the Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar, with the theme of the Cotswolds this year, first introduced and given to me by dear Linda at The Task at Hand. And, I read a little book called The Dawning of Indestructible Joy by John Piper. (You can read the book of only 98 pages online here.) His words have helped me focus on great truth, instead of ads and panic and the feeling that Christmas ought to be a time when everything is perfect. As if it could be.
Piper starts his book with a chapter entitled, “The Search and Save Mission”. Here is my favorite quote from it:
It’s a season for cherishing and worshiping this characteristic of God – that he is a searching and saving God, that he is a God on a mission, that he is not aloof or passive or indecisive…He is sending pursuing, searching, saving. That’s the meaning of Advent.
Then he reminds us why Jesus came:
The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8
Don’t leave Christmas in the abstract. Your sin. Your conflict with the devil. Your victory. He came for this.
More important to me than anything (the cookies, the parties, the celebrations, the presents) is that He came to set us free. That is why we have Christmas.
May your days be bright, your sorrows be diminished, and your joy without bounds today, tomorrow and always.