Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Well, it’s after midnight, so it is officially Christmas here in Atlanta and in Ft Lauderdale.  It won’t be Christmas in Juneau for another three and a half hours, but it’s close enough to wish everyone of you a Merry Christmas.  As I think about Christmas, I am reminded that it is not about presents, but about His presence.  Yet, I so enjoy watching kids open gifts.  I love to see the expression of surprise on their face when they pull back the paper and realize that the gift they are getting is something that they have really been wanting for a long time. 

I got to see that expression on Anna’s face when we were in Juneau. And I saw it tonight on Ava’s and Judah’s face as well.  Oren, well, he is a little old for this expression.  But to see “the look” and know that they feel good about themselves and they know that someone cares about their wants and needs, which is what it is all about. 

I think that is how Father God sees us.  He loves to see the expression of surprise and joy on our face when He surprises us with His goodness and His grace.  The thing is, He wants us to see it all year.  Sure we celebrate His goodness over Christmas and the fact that He sent His son to bring us into the everlasting light.  But He shows us His grace and His goodness all the time.  Our problem is that we miss seeing it most of the time.  He is in constant communication with us.  Our problem is that we aren’t listening on the channel He is speaking on most of the time.  It’s true that His still small voice is what we need to listen for.  But as we listen, we need to be obedient to what we hear, no matter what the cost.  The more we obey, the more we hear.  Most of our lack of hearing comes because of our lack of obedience.  But don’t worry, He loves us so much that when we turn and ask for forgiveness and another chance, He is quick and just to begin speaking where we can hear Him again.

So, Christmas can be about renewing our relationship with Father God, and learning to hear Him all over again.  He wants that, but we have to make the first move.  He is not willing to invade our space if He is not welcome.  It’s like the picture in Revelations of Jesus standing at the door, knocking.  He won’t open it himself; He wants you to open it.  So, I guess the real question for all of us this Christmas is this: Am I hearing Him like I should?  If not, what do I need to do to improve my relationship with Him?  Am I being disobedient?  If so, what do I need to do?   You see, if we are not hearing Him, the problem is on our end.  I know that for me, I want every day to be like Christmas next year.  I want Him to know how much I love Him, and I want to really appreciate His goodness and love just like I do at Christmas.  So to all of you, my friends, may each day of the New Year be like a very Merry Christmas to you as you receive all that Papa has for you each day.

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