- My daughter’s family lives in North Carolina, and they spent Christmas with her husband’s family again – where there are plenty of children of all ages for the grandchildren to play with.
- Our unofficially adopted daughter who lives nearby had toddlers with the flu so we were encouraged not to come for a visit.
- We couldn’t afford afford to travel to New York or Tennessee to be with my husband’s family or my own brothers and sisters.
- We never accomplished getting a Christmas tree up in our home again this year.
- The above situations aren’t all that unique to me. Click here to see what I posted on CCA three years ago.
On the up-side, we had other things going for us this year:
- We enjoyed singing in two different Christmas concerts this year. Our own church choir is exceptional and it is such a privilege to sing in it – even more so considering the small rural community we live in. The other choir was made up of two church choirs that joined forces and sang in both churches on two Sunday evenings in a row. It was a blessing to enjoy that fellowship with Christians in other churches.
- We are trying to prepare property in the country to build a home on, and were given the free use of a “Bobcat” (mini-Caterpillar) for a couple of weeks recently to help clear areas on the property and to make a circular driveway. Our tiny cabin-in-the-making provided a rustic getaway for us, and that is where we spent Christmas Day.
- The weather was beautiful.
But the big difference in this year’s Christmas apart from that of previous years came from the object of my focus – the baby Jesus Christ and the message of the first Christmas.
I can’t exactly take credit for setting out to make him the total focus over the past few weeks. This was the by-product of a blogging series I took on early in December for my Bible Bites 4 Teens blog. My goal was to write a series of posts that would encourage teens to focus on Christ this Christmas.
I used the organization of my children’s book The First Christmas along with the illustrations, but tried to delve a little deeper for a teen audience. This pushed me to re-read and explore the various passages as well as to explore what others had written about the various events. So these events were continually on my mind as I wrote one post after another.
I tried to time the publication of each post to spread them out at the beginning giving a sense of time passing, and closer together at the time of the birth of Christ and the shepherds’ visit. Then the final posts about the wise men are spread out again to convey the time it took for them to travel from a distant country. The final posts still haven’t published, and some still haven’t been written.
I’ve never felt so primed to feel the presence of God, the Emanuel, God with us… who left his home in Heaven to squeeze his full person-hood into a tiny baby that had to be fed and cared for by a human mother and step-father.
And the angels came to tell the lowly shepherds that nobody else valued.
And the heavens opened up with legions of angels praising God!
And then there was Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus, wide-eyed with wonder. What would it be like to be the earthly parents of this little baby who was God Himself?
. and wondering…
. for thirty more years before Christ would begin his ministry.
by Janice D Green, author of The First Christmas.
The blog series on Bible Bites 4 Teens begins here. (click)