The Essence of Christmas

Merry Christmas

Here we are, Christmas Eve. We haven’t sent Christmas cards this year. It’s not that we didn’t want to, or didn’t plan to, but I’m not even sure it’s a thing anymore. There are so many alternative ways to communicate that sending anything in the mail… Well, it just isn’t done. Besides, I’m not even sure how good the snail mail addresses we have are.

So here is my alternative, which I am hopeful will make it out to everyone who we would have sent cards to.

Have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

Year in Review

Marcie did a great review of our year in a Facebook post, so I don’t need to write much:

We have had quite a year! In February, we lost Marcie’s mom and we miss her every day, especially now. We now understand more fully the emotions which surround those who work their way through the holiday season after the passing of a loved one. Our family will gather this evening and tomorrow and we will celebrate the joy of Christmas because that is what Bunky would want. I am thankful for God’s grace and the peace that the incarnation brings in this season.

Fortunately, Marcie has taken up the annual tradition of making banket, the incredible Dutch almond roll which Bunky made each year. It comes from a recipe handed down from her great-grandmother. It may have just been her grandmother, but I’m sure it came from even further back. Actually, there are several copies of the recipe. Apparently, at least one in English, with notes.

Through the past year, we traveled to new places in the east and found great places which we will return to.

“We spent time with family, both Randy’s and mine.” We made good friends who supported us through our loss and then again when Marcie fell. “They have surrounded us with kindness and love. We can’t thank them enough.”

“We traveled to California twice. In June, we added Arizona to our visit. In October, we visited friends in Stockton and Spokane.”

“We have been busy. Randy with his photography, having taken a lot of pictures and selling a few thanks to new friends he has made. Marcie has been slowly building her Beautycounter business and is looking forward to what the new year will bring.

So as Christmas Eve and Day approaches, We are taking a quiet moment to appreciate friends, both new and long time, and our families to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Happy Holidays!

We just didn’t get to the sending of cards!

The Essence of Christmas

This morning during my quiet time I read Luke 2:1-20, the familiar scripture about the first Christmas.

As I reflected I thought how amazing it is that God chose this way to come into the world to be with us. Immanuel – God with Us. This baby, born in a stable and laid in a feeding trough for a crib, is God himself! Immanuel—God with us.

As Jordan Raynor, author of Called to Create, writes, “He is the very essence of God’s amazing grace and compassion embodied in human form. This little baby is the single greatest act of humility, surrender, love, and devotion the world will ever know.”

So, during this holiday, by whatever name you choose to call the Christmas season, take time to consider the birth of Immanuel, God with Us, Jesus. Read and meditate on the account of his birth in Luke 2.

“Let the wonder of it wash over you.” writes Raynor. “Fall in love with God and with His beautiful Son. Consider how this baby changes everything for you—your relationships, your work, your worship, your desires. In these moments, make an offering to this sweet baby. Offer him your life—all of it. And, in return, find that the life he gives you back is far more incredible than anything you could ever imagine on your own.”

This is the essence of Christmas.

Without Christ there is nothing to celebrate. Without Christ there is no Christmas.

May Christ be in Your Christmas