Christmas is fast approaching and we haven’t even put our tree up yet, maybe next weekend. We normally have our five now grown up children and their applicable wive/husband/other halves over for Christmas dinner with the grandchildren. Now even the grandchildren are bringing their other halves so we get a good crowd. All things considered, we have a lot to be thankful for.
It’s interesting how the list of things that you’d like to get for Christmas diminish as you get older. Because we had five children my wife and I have had a tendency to put ourselves to the bottom of the list and we learned pretty quickly the difference between a list of “needs” and a list of “wants”. The “needs” list is always short and the “wants” list also seems to be getting shorter. Our “wants” list now seems to focus on other family members rather than ourselves and of course we always enjoy the grandchildren and their excitement.
Our focus on others outside of our family is also very important and we support individuals and organizations that address the material and spiritual needs of others. Once again, all things considered, we have so much to be thankful for.
I love hearing the Christmas carols being played, reminding me of the wonder of God sending His Son to us and the love that our Father expressed in doing that, not to mention that Jesus willing did it. Whenever I look at the horizon now I try to take the wide view, not focusing on what is directly ahead but looking at the wide angle. It helps me sense the globe that we are on and put this world we live on in perspective to the heavens above, floating and spinning as it were, on nothing. The fact that God in the person of Jesus Christ walked on this earth that He created always amazes me, that He became one of us, the Creator walking among His creation. It is no wonder that the Christmas Carol “O Holy Night” always grabs me.
Because my wife and I are nearing the end of our journey and time is taking it’s toll on these bodies that we wear, we are both mindful of what is important and what really matters. It’s not easy to feel at peace within when we look at what is going on in the world, God’s righteousness that is being cast aside left and right and division is being promoted because of supposed political gains. We’ve both seen so many things happen this year that defies logic and reason, both within our country and without. I know that the nature of man is sinful but this year we have seen such an abundance of that reality through the pursuit of greed and power that we both are left speechless. I can’t help but feel ashamed at what we are passing on to our children. There is such a need for the Good News of the Gospel and it is becoming so increasingly difficult to find.
The passing of Nabeel Qureshi was very difficult to deal with and the recent unanswered questions with regard to Ravi Zacharias’ integrity was also troubling. I’m definitely not looking forward to “further developments” as we edge into the New Year.
On a lighter note, working on this blog has brought me closer to a good number of Christians that I would never have met any other way and I am so thankful for that. I could produce a long list of names but Bill and Mary Sweeney and Lynn Abbott quickly come to mind, among a significant long list of other names (David, Teri, Francis, Scott, Holly, BJ, Kim, Pete, Linda etc, etc) You know who you are. I am so grateful for the friendships I’ve gained and the faith that we share.
I am also so grateful for God’s Word, His faithfulness, His righteousness, His love and mercy. It’s not always easy but Jesus never said it would be. I am also thankful for those who build up the Church, the body of Christ, in love and who do so with patience and acceptance of the less learned, being able to make a distinction between unquestionable pillars of truth in the Gospel of Christ and secondary not hammered in stone issues, without displaying condemnation. I am acutely aware of the prerequisites of “true faith” and I am also aware of the difference between how we see things and how God see’s things. No one, no one, knows the heart of another person but God, we need to be mindful of that. Judging our brothers and sisters in the Lord is sometimes required but it comes with the caution of judging ourselves first, before we do so. The terrible sin of pride can take many forms. Be careful.
And finally, to all who’s hope and trust is in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I wish you all a joyous and blessed Christmas!
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!