Posted by: glorifyhim1 | January 3, 2011

Taking Down Christmas

Taking Down Christmas

My husband and I spent the better part of this morning taking down Christmas. We removed the ornaments from the tree and the wreath from the door, took down the ribbon, garland, and lights from outside, and carefully packed everything away until next Christmas. Although necessary, and just as much a part of our yearly Christmas traditions as other activities, it is not something that I enjoy nearly as much as when we decorate and get ready for Christmas. Yet, this year as we packed everything away, instead of feeling downcast or sad, I felt a sense of thanksgiving and peace.

Yes, another Christmas has passed, but the reality of what happened on that very first Christmas remains. God sent His Son that we might have life (see 1 John 4:9). Thank You, God! While Christmases come and go, the reason for our celebration remains the same. We celebrate Christmas because of Christ and knowing Him gives us peace and joy. A Christian cannot contemplate the truth of Christmas without being filled with thanksgiving and praise.

But as I carefully removed the ornaments, some quite fragile and worn, I was reminded that Christmas is also a time we celebrate with loved ones, families, and friends. Birth year ornaments and smiling faces on homemade ornaments remind me of the kids and their early Christmases. It seems that each ornament has a story to tell as I recall a friend or loved one, a place, or an event. While another Christmas has passed, I feel so blessed, so thankful for the joys of yet another Christmas shared with loved ones. Thank You, God!  

But taking down Christmas this year not only encouraged me to offer thanks, but it also encouraged me to look ahead. Instead of feeling sad over what had passed, I began to feel excited about the new year and what might lie ahead. The God who loved me enough to send His Son to save me is the same God who has demonstrated His faithfulness to me through all the seasons of my life. As I think about His sovereignty in my life, the things He worked out (sometimes when I was even oblivious to what was going on), the people He brought into my life, events He orchestrated, and the mercy and grace He has extended to me, I cannot help but wonder what He has in mind for me this year.

So as I enter this new year, my challenge is how I will respond to God this year. Will I listen to Him? Will I be obedient when He calls? I’ve always struggled with how I can discern and always know for sure what God wants me to do. Yet this verse in Isaiah reminds me of something very important. “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21). When we stay close to God (read the Bible, pray, go to church, listen to teachers, etc.) He will guide us in the way we should go. The more we follow Him, the closer we will grow to Him, and the more sensitive we will be to His presence in our lives.

I want to walk with God this year and be so close to Him that whatever way I turn, I will be able to hear His voice directing me the way He wants me to go. I pray I’ll be sensitive to His presence and obedient to His call. And next year, when its time to take down Christmas, I look forward to reflecting on all the way God has led me this year. Then I’ll store up another year of memories and offer thanksgiving and praise to the only One deserving of glory, honor, and praise.

 

“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:17).

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