This past Friday was Spiritual Emphasis Day at my school. It's a day of class parties, games, a chapel, devotions, workshops, seniors leading the school in caroling, etc. Well, our chapel speaker this year was son of one of the teachers at E.L., and he was comparing some of the aspects of Christmas to Christ's story. For instance, He compared the Christmas lights to Jesus being the Light and the presents under the tree as the many gifts God has given us. Now a lot of those comparisons I had heard in some form or fashion, but he ended the chapel by painting a word picture I had never seen. He reminded us that we use evergreens as Christmas trees, and evergreens represent eternal life. He wanted us to picture the Christmas tree as the cross, and the lights on the tree as Jesus hanging there. Where His blood spilled on the ground was where we are left with His gifts, presents. That picture captivates me. It wakes me up to Christmas. Real Christmas. Christmas isn't just about Messiah's birth, but it's about the beginning of a journey He took for us, isn't it? It's somewhat of a beginning of the Ultimate Gift given for us.
Not every gift fits under a tree. Here are some gifts that I've received lately from a gracious God, and not all of them could squeeze themselves into boxes, but I'm still so grateful. I'm grateful for His blood and His grace. Yahweh is so good. So. Good.
316. Class laughter during Christmas party
317. Playing the game wink-em as a class . . . it was a hit!
318. Prayer meeting before pageant
319. Unity of a church wrapping ourselves together to present Him . . . our Savior.
320. Associate Pastor is back home from Iowa.
321. "Baby Jesus'" grin and that he quieted in my arms
322. A new Bethany Dillon CD from Friend
323. Bouquet of lilies and red carnations
324. All those that came to see me and others at pageant . . . what grace.
325. The nativity music box . . . a reminder of a remarkable experience
326. Three performances of the story of Jesus' birth . . . my first as Mary. What an experience. What a journey.
327. Broken release . . . tears and more tears.
328. Joy comes in the morning and so does peace.
329. Broken peoples' smiles
330. That make-up bag she snuck into my bag . . . love.
331. "Aunt Elizabeth's" kindness and gentleness
332. Gaile made it Home for Christmas. I'm going to miss this godly man who passed away during our pageant . . . maybe even during the scene he used to play in as Simeon, during the line "now my soul can rest in peace. I have seen Him!" Wow . . . what a story of God's grace! It's not an easy story on this side of the veil, but on the other, glorious side, I bet Gaile is so happy! And I'm happy for him.
333. Drama teacher's presence
334. Dust has settled
335. Christmas VACATION!!!! Woo Hoo!!!!
Alleluia . . . is He not good?!