Thursday, November 20, 2014

Christmas is Coming

Do you, like me, have special red socks that are reserved for December?

Or a pretty Christmas sweater that gets taken out only one wintery month?

Do you, like me, have a special recipe box filled with the family Christmas favorites?

Do you, like me, have special books that are saved for Christmas reading and re-reading?

Even this blog takes on a Christmas theme during Advent. Sneak peak … this year I’m sharing some thoughts from three very familiar lines in the gospel accounts. I hope you’ll stop by each week.

I LOVE Christmas!

Our row of Christmas books grows each year. This year I’ve added two (so far). 

Touching Wonder, (I love the title) is a journey through the Christmas story mostly from Luke’s perspective. The author, John Blase, closes each short reflection with a prayer. In his words, “The heart of each prayer is personal, but I’ve found that what is most personal is most general”.  (Page 16) I concur.

I’ve been mulling over these words in his prayer after the story of Elizabeth. “Contentment that cancels out hope is merely a mask for resignation”. (Page 33)

Yup, I’ve jump-started Christmas this year.

This beauty is changing my quiet times next month. Not one who usually reads from a devotional book, this December will be different. Ann Voskamp’s Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, is truly an early Christmas present. The scripture readings from the old and new testaments, her provoking thoughts and questions, the wonderful art picturing each entry all draw me to a new place. (I’ve only scanned a few entries, but I know this is going to be a rich time of enjoying the presence of God.)

Jan Karon is one of my favorite novelists. She “writes to give readers an extended family and to applaud the extraordinary beauty of ordinary lives.” Her 2003 Christmas novel is one I enjoy reading over and over. The down-home wisdom spoken through her characters always leaves me with something to ponder. 

Like this conversation between Father Tim and his wife Cynthia as he is thinking back to his fear of retirement, “I never knew how to rest or take a break, or how to refuel. I think God is at last teaching me something about that.” (Page 100) Simple and profound. I stopped to think, what has helped me learn about re-fueling?

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! dates back to 1957. Although I don’t remember reading it as a child, I’ve read it many times to our sons and our GRANDS. I can’t wait for the GRANDS to arrive this Christmas and I’ll read it aloud once again. Dr. Seuss captures the treasure of the season with the Grinch’s conclusion about Christmas, “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. “Maybe Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more!” And yes, it certainly does mean a little bit—no, a LOT more. It will start a good conversation.

What are your favorite Christmas reads (besides the Bible, of course)? What is it about them that have captured your heart?

An early Merry Christmas to you all!  Sue

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

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