It's been a sweet day full of happy moments with family & refreshing reminders of the mystery & wonder of the incarnation of the God of the universe. As my friend Suzanne says, "He gives & He gives & He gives!" This Christmas my perspective has been a bit broader than it has been in the past. Brooks & I now have dear friends that are doing life in Africa, India, Ireland, Sakhalin & Afghanistan; friends whose husband's are away serving our country; and family + friends that have recently lost someone they love. We've been thinking about our friends + family & praying for their hearts today, as we know the holidays are often difficult in the midst of such circumstances.
There are two happenings in which I become very nostalgic: first, while shopping in a quaint bookstore & second, on holidays, especially Christmas. I love reminiscing on years past & the familiarity of all things Christmas: the delicious foods, familiar movies, holiday music, & the festive decor. A couple of weeks ago Brooks & I had the blessing of visiting Matt Chandler's church & listening to one of his advent sermons. I highly recommend it, as it is applicable throughout the year. The sermon spurred prayers for myself, our family, & friends as we approached Christmas day: that we wouldn't be so caught up in the nostalgia of the holidays that we fail to really remember the most important part of today & every day.
"Christ has put death to death! He fills the gap. He has killed sorrow and loss. He has destroyed disease. He has eradicated loneliness. He has created gladness of heart for all who believe and who put their trust in Him. Upon the second advent, at the return of Christ, what has already been paid will be redeemed in full" (Chandler).
No matter what our circumstances, may we always remember & reflect on the reality that Christ has come, and that he is coming again! What a thing to celebrate. And celebrate we did, today.
I love her.
A surprise from Brooks! Soon you will see something other than iPhone pics on our little blog!
[The Beless Family est. 12.17.11.]
May our rejoicing [always] roll up into the ultimate rejoicing, that Christ has come, & that he is coming again!