All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. – John 1:3-5
Here at Maul-Hall we’re getting close to being prepped for Christmas. The house looks great; the presents are (mostly) wrapped; I have food planned and waiting to be cooked; the guest quarters are grandchild-ready; we have observed Advent with hearts open for Christ’s coming.
I love winter in North Carolina. Yesterday the skies around Wake Forest were spectacular- deep Carolina blues giving way to a beautiful sunset and a clear evening with bright stars hanging like Christmas lights just out of reach.
One More Party!
Later we headed out into the country for WFPC’s music-ministry Christmas party. What I loved about the evening was the sense of fun and friendship. This was a faith-based gathering where the faith part was the quiet reality that undergirds everything else. It wasn’t a Bible-study, or a prayer-meeting, or even a church social. It was a party – but it was a party of people who know and love one another because of our common love for Jesus.
So today is a quiet day. Getting ready for Christmas Eve. Preparing our hearts, Rebekah writing her sermon, last-minute cleaning, probably one more trip to the grocery store, anticipating Naomi, Craig, and the grandchildren coming tomorrow evening…
Then, literally on the other side of the world, Andrew and Alicia are on an island in Thailand, preparing their hearts too, waiting to celebrate the coming of the King when the sun comes up, twelve hours ahead of Wake Forest, proclaiming the good news of the birth of Jesus.
This morning they sent me this photograph. I guess they’re not too much worried about snow and ice, and I’m sure they will be eating something exotic for Christmas dinner.
But we will be together in spirit, grateful for God’s generous redemptive initiative of grace – God’s invitation.
I know I’ve used the idea a lot recently, but I really like the notion of Jesus being God’s invitation. And an invitation – of course – never really takes effect until we respond… and show up… and (the best part) participate.
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.