Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lavish Love

It’s four days past Christmas.

And maybe you trimmed your home with sentiment and cheer this month…






 
Maybe you traveled or maybe loved ones gathered in your home….









Maybe you maked-and-baked in preparation for time together...


Maybe you shopped and placed presents under a tree...
 


Maybe you reminisced about the old days or made new holiday memories…











I heard a story on the news last week about a community of "Secret Santas."  Anonymous strangers who pulled out wallets at layaway counters nationwide.  Families who walked in to chisel at payments were shoved off their guard with good news: balance paid in full.  Wet faces and swollen hearts carried home presents...and hope.

As December packs up and 2011 waves goodbye, I'm thankful for a God who showed up, opened wide His heart, and slapped down payment...the gift of Himself.  Peace on layaway?  Paid in full.  Hope on layaway?  Paid in full.  Forgiveness?  Purpose?  Bright futures?  New tomorrows?  Paid in full.  Celebrity born to obscurity.  Majesty...lullaby-ed in a manger.  Creator, Author of Life, bent down low.  Vulnerable and weak, an infant - dependent on the tender care of a mother, the protection of a father.




Maybe you were able to breathe deep and soak it all in - family, traditions, friends, love, laughter - everything Christmas. Or maybe amidst the busyness of this holiday season your inner Zen stepped out on you.  Maybe now that the gifts are unwrapped, the magic is fading like a child grown up.




But Christmas isn't over. 

The Great Gift-Giver keeps giving and giving and giving.  He cannot help Himself.  He gives because He loves.  And He just keeps loving and loving and loving.

Maybe it was your first Christmas without him.  Maybe her seat at the dinner table sat empty.  He gives Himself.  Alpha and Omega, The One Who Never Leaves.

Or maybe the life you carried inside slipped from your womb to the grave.  He gives Himself.  His shoulder for your tears, the One Who Sees...Hears...Knows...

Maybe you found yourself alone again, when you thought for sure that this would be the year.  He gives Himself.  Protector...Provider...Husband.

God, squeezed into man.  The answer to all our hearts' questions; the fulfillment of every longing....asleep on the hay.  Emmanuel.  God near...among...for...with...us.



The people who walked in darkness 
have seen a great light.
For those who lived in a land of deep shadows—light...
The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants...
Is gone, done away with...
For a child has been born—for us! 
the gift of a son—for us!
He'll take over 
the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor, 
Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness.
...there'll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
Isaiah 9, The Message


He gives Himself.  Happy for-God-so-loved-the-world-Christmas, all. 

5 comments:

  1. Amen and Amen. Thank you for speaking these truths to my heart this morning, Ang. He is SO good to us...giving us grace upon grace.

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  2. Thank you for writing this for helping the loss my heart is feeling :)

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  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. They are beautiful. Also, that nativity set in your bottom pictures is absolutely stunning!

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  4. Thanks all for your encouraging words! You could read and not say anything but you did - thanks!

    And Caroline, you were definitely on my heart when I wrote...

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