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Posts Tagged ‘Christ is coming again!’

Here's what it's all about sans GB

This precious photo takes me back to 1962, when our daughters, Laura and Debbie, plus our son, Eric, reenacted an historical event which needs no explanation—as a part of our Christmas Eve celebration at home.

We had another daughter, Judy, somewhere around—and a real live baby, Karl, who for some reason was not available at the moment, so a doll took the place of Baby Jesus.¬† Obviously we overlooked the fact that we had no boy doll to fill in the gap. ūüôā

I think some of our children understood the Christmas message better than I did in 1962.  Children can be so receptive to the simplicity of it all!

I was reminded of this last evening, at our church’s annual special Christmas worship:¬† Scripture readings from the Genesis 3:15 first mention of our Messiah, prophecies concerning the Lord Jesus from Micah and Isaiah, the beautiful account of Jesus’s birth in the Gospel of Luke, and the joyous climax in the book of Revelation when God’s glorified people will be worshipping the Lamb Who was slain—KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.¬† All of the readings were interspersed with the singing of beloved Christmas Carols.¬† As a finale, we lit our individual candles and sang “Silent Night”.

It brought tears to my eyes, to think that people all over the world would be replicating this service of worship and adoration:¬† people of countless denominations, in many languages and in every possible setting—be it a cathedral, church, public venue, or at home either in safety and comfort or at risk of arrest, incarceration, and/or torture and possibly death.¬† Scriptures, carols, and candlelight.

When singing the carols, I thought of all of you who may be reading this blog—brothers and sisters in Christ in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, UK, Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Portugal. Australia, New Zealand, India, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Gabon, South Africa, Afghanistan, and other places around the world.¬† All lighting candles and singing praises to the Lord Jesus Who is the Light of the World!

Today we are united in love, through His Holy Spirit.¬† Someday we will be united in person, praising our LORD OF LORDS, KING OF KINGS—thanks to His message of Salvation, Redemption, and Eternal Life:¬† a message so beautifully simple that even a receptive child can understand and believe it.

To all of you readers, wherever you are, I pray you will have a blessed Christmas!

Margaret L. Been — December 22, 2018 ¬†

Note:  I am adding Ghana, Russia, Turkey, and Switzerland to the above international list.  Welcome friends!!! 

 

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Here's what it's all about sans GB

Many of us¬†know by heart, the visitation of three spirits to Charles Dickens’s Scrooge—the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.¬† Each year¬†I time-travel¬†in reverse, as I¬†recall¬†our Christmases Past.

The above-pictured¬†familiar drama was performed by three of our children—Laura, Debbie, and Eric—circa 1963.¬† Other memorable Christmases include: 1) the time when some cars¬†failed to¬†start due to sub zero outdoor readings, and the few cars still running shuttled back and forth between homes— bringing family members to our¬†large gathering;¬†2) poignant¬†Christmases underscored by the loss of loved ones; 3) an ethnic-flavored Christmas when a Swedish friend brought her children, each bearing a battery candle, to our door in celebration of St. Lucia’s Day—the oldest daughter enacting Lucia; 4) and a fair number of Christmas seasons when nearly everyone threw up.

There was a Christmas when we were especially pinched financially, and I made each child (we had our first five, then) a stuffed animal pillow from pre-printed fabric detailed and shaped like the animal it represented.¬† The animal I recall most vividly was Eric’s gorilla, because Eric was attached to his pillow for years.¬† The other gifts that year (an additional two¬†for each child) were¬†necessary clothing items—hats, mittens, or a sweater.¬†¬†

It¬†was a thoroughly blessed and joyous Christmas!¬† We had¬†good food, a warm home, warm beds, and each other!¬† Our¬†family’s happiness never centered around possessions or the lack of them, but rather on the fun of just being together.¬†

Recent Christmases Past featured:¬† 1)¬†the up-north years, when we came to Southern Wisconsin to visit our family members here and stayed in a neighborhood motel with a lovely warm pool;¬†and 2) that “famous-in-our-family” Christmas of 2010, when both Joe and I had major surgery on December 23rd and spent our Christmas in hospital rooms next door to one another—an accommodation¬†kindly arranged by one of¬†our surgeons.¬†

Joe had a muscle graft over a 4th degree burn, and was not allowed out of bed, whereas my surgery required that I get up and exercise as much as I could.¬† So¬†several times a day I shuffled next door with my “dancing partner”—the IV pole—to visit my love.¬† Our hospital Christmas was indeed special, because of¬†opportunities to share with hospital personnel the WONDERFUL REASON for my peace and joy—serious health issues notwithstanding.

Now in 2012, Christmas Present once again presents a¬†health challenge which in no way detracts from the¬†wonder of the fact that our Lord took on human flesh and came to live among us.¬† Again I¬†testify that a¬†challenge actually augments the¬†wonder of it all.¬† Because Christ died to save us, and¬†conquered death¬†to give us¬†eternal life,¬†we can¬†experience irrevocable victory over whatever may be happening around us—or in our bodies.

All of this leads to the fact that¬†Christmas¬†is only part of the story.¬†¬†Christmas culminates in¬†Calvary and Resurrection.¬† And there’s more¬†wonder¬†yet to come—when our Lord returns to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.¬† He will return, perhaps in¬†the¬†year of a¬†not-too-distant Christmas Future.

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