The weather was mild for this time of the year, so I gladly got the big ladder out and began my project by first hanging our white "icicle" lights from the front porch roof. A few of the bulbs are burned out, but I think we can at least get this one more year of use from them.
Next, I set-up our wooden, silhouette, Nativity scene. We have Joseph, Mary, the Baby Jesus in a manger, two lambs, a shepherd with a silver bell in his hand, a donkey sitting off to the side, and a sign with the three letters -- J-O-Y -- painted boldly in shiny silver paint on the front.
Finally, I put our spotlight in front of the Nativity scene, and as I write this blog post it's just after midnight and let me tell you that "our front yard is a' glow again with the Christmas Spirit for another season of holy days". Yes, indeed. It's our own version of Bethlehem with the spotlight serving as the bright, Bethlehem Star.
Everyone who knows anything about me knows that I absolutely love Christmas and that includes the whole month of December as well. Today, as I was pulling out our decor for another Christmas, I must admit I seemed a little more tired than I remember being last December. I'm not complaining, just reporting. So, maybe it took me a little longer to complete the refreshing routine. Refreshing routine?" Yes. When everything was in place, it seemed my heart, mind, soul, and strength just exhaled all of the weariness and simultaneously I wondrously inhaled fresh inspiration into the depths of my being.
And tonight, we got to witness our local church's Christmas-theme, Dessert Theater. It was a very heart-warming, homegrown, Christmastime story written by a precious family in our church. The theme was about forgiveness being God's reason for Christmas.
At the end of the performance, as pastor, I came to pray the Benediction; but not before giving an invitation for those walking in darkness to turn towards The Wonderful One called The Light of the World -- the Bethlehem Boy. I reminded everyone that Christmas is God saying "I'm not mad at you. I am mad about you. I want to forgive you, pick up the broken pieces of your heart, and give you my peace."
A holy hush filled the room as we prayed. It's Christmastime again, my friends. I know that for some it's a difficult time of the year, however, if we will risk opening our hearts, I STILL BELIEVE without doubt, it can be the most wonderful time of the year and the most wonderful season of our lives to date.