Preparations are underway for another heart warming Christmas Eve Service as well as everything that goes along with our “usual” Christmas morning. The luminaries line the streets and as dusk draws nigh, I reflect on “expectations of Christmas”.
I make my way through the huge wooden doors to the church. Candlelight and carols fill the air, and…. so does the knot in my throat.
This is our first Christmas Eve without Sarah and the “normalcy” of expectations and traditions feel challenged, changed, and taken away. Although I may not always like it, after 40 years I have finally learned (and in some ways am still learning) to “stand still and see His Glory”.
As you read the remainder of this Christmas Day blog and “Expectant Christmas Reflections” I hope you will be inspired to do the same.
For a weary, stranded traveler who exchanges a warm and festive meal around the table with loved ones, for bad weather, cancelled flights and the uncertainty of what tomorrow will hold…….hope was still born and the glory of the Lord revealed.
For the young mother who struggles to comfort the fevered brow of her child, instead of decorating, caroling and baking…….hope was still born and the glory of the Lord revealed.
Unfortunate circumstances give way to broken homes and broken hearts. Any hopes of happy and joyful Christmas times will have to be put off until next year or the next….but even in that, hope is still born and the glory of the Lord revealed.
The missionary family who embraces the “unplanned”, because there is no other choice (or electricity), exchanges fresh made enchiladas and swimming, for a rainy day and dinner out…hope is still born and the glory of the Lord revealed.
Mary and Joseph resort to a Bethlehem stable because there is no room at the inn…. HOPE IS BORN AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD IS REVEALED!!
Between you and me, there are a thousand and one more “real life” scenarios we could add to this list. But let me ask you, what did Christmas look like this year compared to what you expected it to look like? Maybe everything went perfectly and as planned, but maybe, just maybe it didn’t.
We have 17 more days before we see Sarah face to face. And, although we wait with great expectation, our hearts are learning to take great comfort in the unexpected, in the different, and in the HAND-PICKED, HAND-DESIGNED expectations of the Father (Just like that very first Christmas Night)!
Then and only then, is hope born and HIS glory revealed.
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This book is a powerhouse of facts, real life examples lived out, and scripture, all woven together to create a masterpiece that brings the reader face to face with the Whole Gospel. Beware, it is radical and convicting! (In a great way).
If you are: compelled to greatness or desire accurate information, if you are moved with compassion and desire to be Christs hands extended, if you are affluent and self sufficient, if you are lukewarm and lack for not much of anything, if you sit in church week after week and don’t really know why, or even if you love the Lord with all your heart mind and soul, this book is for you and a must read!
Whatever our views are, wherever our priorities lie, reading this book is sure to bring us one step closer (if not a hundred steps closer) to lining up with the “whole gospel”.