Merry Christmas!

It is Christmas Eve, and I am so very grateful for a wonderful weekend of Christmas celebration. As I write, Gladys Mae and Dee are helping out here in the kitchen. Dee has been faithfully cleaning up behind me as I have embarked on a last-minute whirlwind of baking and making in preparation for our Christmas party on Monday. Tomorrow will be all about celebrating Jesus at church and then visiting family, and Monday the oven will be dedicated to a huge turkey and a ham. So today is pie-baking day. I make a huge mess when I bake, and I am very blessed to have Dee on kitchen duty this week. She even detailed my stand mixer. (Her uncles would be so proud.)

As I reflect on all the things we do to prepared for Christmas, on all the movies and shows about Christmas we have watched over the past few weeks, and on the planning for special presents we have done, I am reminded that the Christmas spirit isn’t in any of these things, really. I was touched by the news reports of anonymous people paying off lay-away balances for families. And yet, as touching as this is, this is still not the spirit of Christmas. Tiny Tim got it almost right when he declared, “God Bless us, every one!”

The truth is that God HAS blessed us, every one! Consider that the babe we celebrate this weekend was God in the flesh. He put on flesh. He gave up his throne. The Father and Son who had always enjoyed fellowship with each other gave up the fullness of that relationship for a period of time in order for Christ to come and walk among us, to experience our suffering, to be tempted as we are, and yet to live a sinless life and to die on the cross in my place. God in the flesh, God yet man, man yet very God. It is a mind-blowing thing to know that the creator of the universe purposed to be born of a virgin and to do what I could not do for myself on my behalf.

So as I finish my baking today, as we share a Christmas Eve dinner together, as we read the old familiar story, and as we wake in the morning to the excited giggles of children anxious to see what Momma and Daddy have left in their stockings, we will remember that the real gift was given 2000 years ago and that He lives in us through the Holy Spirit. I pray we will continue to be amazed by His grace. Indeed, God has blessed us, every one. Merry Christmas!

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