Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Is NOT Over!

My Christmas trees are still up. My decorations are still out. My clothes are still feeling tighter as I continue to munch on the pile of yummy-ness on the counter.

Traditionally, all the red and green Rubbermaid tubs are carted in from the garage on January 1 or 2 and I begin the task of packing up the trees, the nativity scenes and the stockings. I intentionally leave quite a few of my snowman friends out through the winter, but for the most part, when the chore is done, we are left with a clean slate of a house.

The furniture will be back where it "goes" and the mantle will look a little bare without the garland and lights. My daughters' rooms will be neatly organized and all the new toys will have been put into their places. The Vinson house will be ready to welcome a new year.

Honestly, I am not in any rush to pack away "Christmas." The month of December was as usual and as expected, entirely too busy. I feel like I am just now able to appreciate and enjoy the sparkling lights.

Not just as a minister's wife, but as a mother of three and a daughter with parents living out-of-state, December is daunting. As a Christian, I pray that the Advent season would be a spiritual time of reflection and awe, taking in the wonder that is the incarnation - yet between parties and programs, gifts and goodies, packing and packages, it is hard to stop and remember "the reason for the season."

Yet, God was so good to me. When I did turn my reflections upon Him, He allowed me to "Behold" different aspects of the Christmas narrative. "Behold" was the title of our senior pastor's advent sermon series. Honestly, through his sermons and my own readings, I lost count how many times the Bible tells us to "behold" different truths of how the Word became man to dwell among us.

Each time I came across the word "behold" this advent season, I circled it in my Bible and intentionally stopped to "behold," or to study intently, whatever came next - for instance,  that an angel would appear to virgin or in a dream to a young carpenter.

I tried to look at these passages with the same awe and wonder that a brand new daddy, holding his son or daughter for the first time, studies that infant's features with intense amazement. And God was faithful. He kept His word. When I looked for Him, He revealed Himself to me and Christmas 2015 was a time of spiritual depth and reflection for me.

These truths and lessons will stay with me long after I finish returning the red and green crates to their home in the attic. I won't pack these aspects of Christmas away. These things I will continue to ponder in my heart as Mary did.

Sister, if you have had a crazy December and not taken the time to "behold" Him. It isn't too late. Christmas is never really ever over for the Christian. The Incarnate God has taken up residence in us through the form of the Holy Spirit. We are Emmanuel, God with Us, to the world around us.

Stop and "Behold" Him, born the King of Angels. You can pack up the rest of your Christmas later. 

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