For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Thought for the Day: Remember and rejoice that God sent His son into the world for you.
Watching my youngest son pull out one Christmas decoration after another out of boxes warmed my heart and gave me a new excitement for the Season. We arrived back home after a week of packing up and moving “the rest” of our things from our old house so by the time we arrived home, we were worn out. My “goal in life” was to go to bed early. But then I watched our child, and I began helping him place things around the house. We had already decorated the Christmas tree early and put out most of our Clothique Santas before leaving to go out of town, but we still had a lot in boxes. This trip brought us the most special Christmas items to our family and our sweet boy got excited when our giant “Annabelle” and “Slim-the pig” were opened. My heart felt emotion when I watched him lay down and hug “Slim” and when he brought out one Annabelle after another placing them in wagons and sleighs. Our “Henderson” family has a family memory and now a tradition that surrounds these story characters as the original story, “Clarabell, the Christmas Cow” was written by our cousin, Dan Henderson, in 1976. He died in 1990 but his story was made into the movie, “Annabelle’s Wish”, in 1997. Since that time, we have collected movie stuffed animals, movie dvds and vhs tapes, annual newspaper clippings of the original story since it appears in the paper each year, and my annual classroom edition of child illustrated books of Clarabell. These years of children and adults reading the story and then seeing the movie has brought many hours of love and hope, and creates a new spirit of Santa’s magic.
Today, as we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent, our church will celebrate the coming of Jesus and will begin planning for His arrival. We light the first advent candle and will sing songs of His coming. We go through the excitement each year because, not like a family tradition, but because He is our Lord and we are telling about His coming and how God sent His son into the world so that we would be saved. Now, in our house, we will unpack nativities and our family Advent wreath and we will cherish the true story of Christmas, the story that began over 2000 years ago and one that continues in each of our hearts. What fun we will have with the stories of Santa and “Clarabell”, but how deep will our love of Christ grow even more as we celebrate His birth. Let’s take in Christ and celebrate deeply in our hearts the birth of our Savior, Christ the Lord.
Prayer: Father, thank you for the fun of the Christmas Season as we enjoy traditions that have come. Let us have fun, but please remind us every day that the reason we celebrate is because of that Gift you sent so many years ago in the form of a baby. You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to live on earth and then to die on a cross for our sins. You are our ever-loving Father. Amen.
Prayer Focus: Remembering the true meaning of Christmas