I officially played my first Christmas CD this afternoon. I know, I know. CD’s are old school. That’s okay, I have a very nice collection and I just don’t have it in me to upload all of them so I can play them over my computer.
Anyway, I always wait until Thanksgiving is over before I get out my Christmas music. I look forward to that every year. Terry surprised me by bringing our Christmas tree up from the basement. It’s waiting for the decorations now, which we’re planning to do Thursday evening when my daughter and her family come up to help us. I’m looking forward to that.
This is the same tree, with a lot of the same decorations, that our family has used for over 25 years. Some of the decorations go all the way back to our first Christmas, nearly 50 years ago. And some are new, only a year old, given to us by a relative of my daughter-in-law Maria. After nearly fifty years of marriage, that’s what you have–a beloved collection of the old and the new.
I love the Christmas story in Luke 2. Hearing it repeatedly over the years has not made it dull, but more wonderful each year.
2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
Actually, I have it by memory. I remember learning it for a church Christmas program when I was eight. I think it’s one of the most beautiful passages in God’s Word. Like our decorations, this passage takes on a patina over time, and just becomes more precious as the years go by.
I want you to know that, even if you’ve never commented on a post here, your faithfulness in reading for over six years has been a huge blessing to me. Some of you have become Facebook friends, and we’ve gotten to know each other a little that way.
I won’t be in church tomorrow, because of the increasing pain in my back. I get the next injection this Thursday. Please pray with me that this one will act like a booster to strengthen the first one. It would be so nice if this holiday season could be free of pain.
So–best wishes to all of you as we begin this Christmas season. May it be the best ever. If you would like to share a prayer request or blessing here in the comments, please feel free to do so this month. Please keep them brief. We don’t need lots of detail. Just give us your first name, and a short summary of the problem or the blessing. I’d love to hear from you.