Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How We Do Christmas--Spiritual Emphasis

I would have thought that this edition of "How We Christmas" would have been the easiest to write, but I'm actually finding it the most difficult. I cannot separate Christmas from the spiritual so everything I've already written about in these posts always come back to the fact that we do this because this is the day we celebrate Jesus' coming to the world to save us. The gifts we give are in celebration (we do give the girls three gifts each--reminiscent of the three gifts from the Magi). The candles and decorations are about light and festivity. The creche points to the birth. It is all about the spiritual.

Nevertheless, there are a couple of things that we do that I have not written about already. One is how we celebrated last Sunday evening. Our church has a lovely Carols by Candlelight service each year. The sanctuary is darkened, the candles are lit, the church members who play brass and wind instruments join with the "big" organ to play the Christmas carols in all their glory, members representing all ages come and read the Christmas story in between each carol. It is such a peaceful reminder of the reason we are celebrating. There are refreshements of mince pies and coffee to follow, but we often slip out whilst it is still dark. That allows me, at least, to continue to ponder the wonder of the story that has been told in the darkness.

I've already mentioned that we do a Jesse Tree and Advent Calendar each year. This year the girls have coloured the amazing ornaments offered at my friend V's site, The Paper Dali. It is so much fun to hear them each year reciting the lineage of Jesus. I know that we are planting seeds for the future and I pray that they grow roots that will last deep into their adult Christmases.

We will re-read the Christmas story again and again during December. We remind ourselves that it is Jesus' birth story that is important this time of year. Our dessert Christmas day will be a cake and "happy birthday Jesus" will be sang as we cut it. We will open gifts first thing Christmas morning, but then we will pause and go to church and sing the last verse of "O Come All Ye Faithful" (the other verses are sung throughout December but the last verse only on Christmas morning), light the Christmas candle and rejoice that today the Saviour has come! And, if I'm smart, I'll sit back and watch a little and, like Mary, I will ponder this time in my heart knowing not what the new year holds but understanding I won't pass this way again.

It is all about Jesus for us at Christmas. The wrapping and the presents and the food and the music are all nice, but Christmas would happen without them. But Christmas does not happen without Jesus. That's why we do Christmas the way we do.

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord

I pray you all have the Merriest and Safest of Seasons. If you are with family and friends, love on them and enjoy them. If you are on your own this Christmas I pray that you feel the love of the Father that is lavished on you this season. I'll be mostly away from the computer until after New Year as I enjoy my Dad and his wife's visit.

Please visit Lisa at The Preacher's Wife to read more "How We Christmas" posts.


Rena said...

How awesome! You pull every aspect of Christmas together in celebration of Christ and I LOVE THAT!

I love that you only sing the last verse at church on Christmas day.

Tami Boesiger said...

Have a very Merry Christmas, friend!

Megan said...

Merry Christmas, my dear friend! I hope you and German and the girls had a lovely & blessed Christmas this year.

e-Mom said...

A beautiful post, from a beautiful woman. Your Christmas sounds full of Spirit, and lovely.

Missed out on mince pie this year. Too expensive here in US! But I did buy English fruitcake. (I also served plum pudding w/ hard sauce.) :~D