Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas!

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"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." -- Romans 15:13

Christmas is almost here! The waiting is nearly over. This season of advent, the coming of Christ, is often masked by trees, decorations, bows, presents, holiday tunes, consumerism, lights, and the hustle & bustle. Those things are lovely, helping us to celebrate the season in a festive way. Yet underneath it all, Christmas is really simple. God sent his son to earth to be born as a baby to an unassuming, humble woman. Yet little did she know, God had big plans for her life. She would bear the Christ child. He was born in a lowly manger, also an unassuming place for the King of Kings to be born. But that's just it; God used unexpected people and places to accomplish His purposes. Jesus was born, he lived on earth and experienced pain, suffering, and joy, then died an unspeakable death on the cross to save us. He did that for you. And me. By his life and his death, we can be reconciled to God. This is why we can be filled with such JOY this weekend; because our Savior was born and trusting in Him fills us with great hope.

I want to remember these simple truths this weekend, instead of being swept up in the pressures the season brings. Cook this, gift that, be on time to a million things, look a certain way, act a certain way, keep your house looking perfect for gatherings, give the perfect gifts. Less of that, friends and instead, more joy, more realness, more grace and mercy towards others, more serving, more compassion, more vulnerability, more family, more giving, more LOVE. More presence instead of presents. That's my hope. I'll end with one of my favorite quotes from Ann Voskamp's Christmas book, The Greatest Gift.

"You are most prepared for Christmas when you are done trying to make your performance into the gift and instead revel in His presence as the Gift."

So here's to your Christmas weekend; family, good food, gifts that remind us of the Gift, traditions, and mostly, reveling in His presence. My prayer is that you would feel the nearness of God this Christmas.

Merry Christmas from the us to you!


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