A Gift For you this Christmas Season…
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son,
who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
We went to choose a Christmas tree today, braving the wintery grey. For years we’ve decorated a a plastic tree, but this year our tree was packed so deep in our storage container that it was unreachable, so we opted for a real one, all prickly and alive and smelling like Christmas. As we walked around looking for the perfect tree my children darted in and out of the Christmassy forest, enjoying every moment of this memory-laden tradition.
Somehow there is a warmth in these traditions, these moments that both create and evoke memories all at once, and prick anticipation for the coming weeks ahead- ‘Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming!’, they whisper, breathless and gleeful, ‘Can you feel it yet?’.
As winter closes in here in the northern hemisphere Christmas anticipation races neck and neck with the darkening days, a warming balm against the biting cold. The chilled air is pregnant with promise- the promise of something. Something we long for. Something I long for.
All around us advertisements are jingling at us, telling us this season is here, this season of ‘giving’ by which they really mean this season of ‘spending’; Spend spend spend! Buy buy buy! Because what we really need this Christmas is more stuff. Right? More, more more? Hmmm.
There is something though, if I’m honest with myself, that I do long for more of at Christmas. Something more. But not more stuff. Something I think most of us are reaching for, yearning for in the midst of all the rush. Something that stuff stuffed into stockings doesn’t actually supply. Something real. The real thing we were born longing for, searching for, yearning for. The more we were formed for.
More of Him.
He who Christmas is truly actually about (despite the story the jingling adverts’ spin). Not Santa. Not reindeer. Not stuff.
Just Him. This wild reckless God who loved us so madly that He took the extreme measure of taking on human skin two thousand and something years ago. And came. For us. He came into our human story, to rewrite it with His love. Writing in time His long story of grace, this grace given to us from before the beginning of time.
So, what if this Christmas we were to slow the story down, and live in it. And let it live in us? What if in all the Christmas rush we forge an island of quiet and sit in God’s long story of grace and let it become the story that breathes us back to life, lighting the dark, warming the cold? What if this Advent season could be a time we turn our hearts back to the heart of the real Christmas story and let it reshape us from the inside out, and in so doing become more real ourselves.
So, to this end, for this reason, I have something for you. Something I’ve been working on for weeks and I’m so happy to be giving to you now. And this little gift I am so thrilled to be sending you this Christmas is really the gift He gave us all long ago. The gift of Himself. The gift of His story: the moment God touched down on this spinning blue planet, enfolding Himself in human flesh and taking on the brokenness that had become our human experience. He came. Just as he had promised He would, that first Christmas long ago.
To encourage your journey towards Him and towards real joy this Christmas season, I have put together this gift for you- a way to hold His story in your palm, in your heart this season. Some easy to handle handles on life that can be pinned on a dashboard or stuck on a window, tucked in a pocket or even hung on a Christmas tree!
A little gift in the form of a printable Scripture Journey (on small cards) for each of the 24 days of Advent and the following 12 days of Christmas, telling the Christmas story from Genesis, though the prophets to the New Testament, slowing it down, inviting us to think, to dwell, to ponder each part, each day, each moment. These little cards telling the largest longest story of a promise, an aching, waiting world and a baby born to be King. The real story of when God Himself became flesh and made his dwelling, His home among us. This is my gift and my invitation to you this season- slow the story down, and walk it out with Him this Christmas.
Your gift is waiting for you to discover and download right here in our post box.
So take a look. It’s yours.
And, for those who like to work with their hands and be creative, in the coming days I will also post you the instructions for a simple ‘waiting manger’ Advent craft, a ‘lamp-stand’ to hold the story of God as you walk it out with Him this Advent and Christmas season.
I’ll drop a reflection in your inbox from time to time throughout the season also, to encourage you.
So Christmas Blessings my friend, I’ll be in touch again soon.
PS- Find your gift in the Post Box HERE