I hope your measurement of Christmas will be a different kind of tabulation...a measurement of the amount of JOY you received in the presence of others,...and in the Holy Presence of the Child in the Manger Himself...Jesus...our Messiah...Emmanuel, "God WITH Us"...His Presence with us...that is where the true JOY comes from.
This year we did a couple of things differently than we have in the recent past.
|Our church "ensemble" singing "Christmas is Jesus"|
- My husband and I both sang in our church Christmas Cantata, "Christmas is Jesus". It was a precious time of singing songs of great joy and hope as we ushered in the Christmas Spirit in song and Word. It had been quite a few years since either of us had sung in church...even though that was something quite common for us to do for many years in the past. This took courage and steps of faith for us to venture back into this "arena"...and God was with us all the way. My husband even sang a solo...to the glory of God. This was an answer to prayer for me.
|Me and my hubby John...happy to have family |
at our table for Christmas.
- We were able to have extended family here in our home for Christmas (a couple days early)...another first after many years. In years past our families (on my side) always spent Christmas at my parents' home. Since both my parents have now gone on to be with the Lord and that home is no longer in the family...we needed a gathering place. This past year God blessed us with a new (to us) home that was large enough to become that gathering place. Although not every member of the family was able to be present...there were about 15 of us around our table, and that, for me especially, was such a joy.
|Mother (Nanny) Steiner, Bill and Peggy Steiner|
- We also spent Christmas Day with my husband's brother's family in their new home for the first time in many years, due to the fact that they had moved back to our home state after many years being away. Now we are able to enjoy their two young children...and also we are all able to continue to enjoy Mother Steiner, who is now 89+.
|Our nephew and niece, Nicholaus and Shannon|
"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." (I Cor. 13:13)Here is a sample of the sign we created for each family, although each one was unique due to the wood grains and finishing touches, but the message was the same for all:
This is the message we wanted to give each family...when the world around us goes crazy, and we don't understand the reasons why things happen...we need to go back to God's Word...and claim HOPE by FAITH...and trust in God's LOVE to always be there for us, no matter what.
That is how I measure Christmas...by the FAITH in our Lord for His saving grace and comfort in difficult times...by the HOPE that He gave us when Christ came to earth as that little baby... to save us from our sins...and by the LOVE that HE has for each and every one of us, so much that He was willing to die for us on the cross so that we could spend eternity with Him in Heaven forever!!
My prayer for you this Christmas and in the New Year is that you will experience this same FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE in your heart and life right now and forever! Amen!!