Friday, November 16, 2007

Christmas Preparations

We started our Christmas shopping in earnest yesterday. Now don't think that I'm one of those that is so excited about Christmas that she ignores Thanksgiving. I love all that Thanksgiving represents and believe whole-heartedly in the holiday. It's just that growing up, all our eggs were in the Christmas basket, so to speak. You see, when you're in vocational ministry, you have to pick and choose what holidays you'll take off relative to where they fall in relation to Sundays and Wednesdays. And, my parents chose to put our travel time and vacation days where we could use them in bulk, at Christmas and New Year's. So, though we certainly always acknowledged and celebrated Thanksgiving, my fondest holiday memories are from the Christmas season with trips to Grandparents and seeing cousins, etc.

Now, as an adult who's still in vocational ministry, Darin and I typically find ourselves following suit. This year is no exception. In fact, we'll even be joining several others working on Thanksgiving Day to offer a friendly piece of pumpkin pie to folks in our community who may be down on their luck or who simply want to give thanks with others, and not be alone to do it. I'm excited about the opportunity we'll have that day to let people know that we believe church is more than a building or a group of elitists, it's about being a family. And my prayer is that on that day we will demonstrate exactly what Jesus meant when he said, "They will know you are my disciples, if you love one another." (Jn 13:35)

And isn't that what preparing for Christmas should be about, anyway? More than buying gifts, shouldn't our hearts be preparing to celebrate the Greatest Gift we ever received? I'm glad Abe Lincoln stuck Thanksgiving so close to Christmas. What better way to prepare for worship of the Infant King than entering his gates (or at least the month of December) with Thanksgiving (see Ps 100:4)!

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