The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.
On those living in a pitch-dark land, light has dawned. – Isaiah 9:2
With Thanksgiving in the rear-view mirror, it’s no surprise to witness this sudden cultural lurch toward Christmas. This can be a wonderful journey, deepening our walk with God – or it can be a marathon battle, fraught with confusion, the marketplace at its worst, the season eventually concluding in huge disappointment.
So here we are in the closing hours of November and we have this opportunity to either hit December in stride, navigating our way along the dusty road toward Bethlehem… or we can make the tragic mistake of walking through that other door, the one grinds its way toward the holidays dancing to the tune of consumerism’s cynical exploitation of hopes and dreams that can only find their fulfillment in Jesus.
Full of Grace and Truth:
From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace;
as the Law was given through Moses,
so grace and truth came into being through Jesus Christ. – John 1:16-17
The beautiful truth is that we don’t have to reject all the fun and the lights and the festivities in order to find real joy, we simply need to remember – every single day – that we belong to Jesus and that we have been given the gift of hope, peace, joy, love, and promise in order to share it with a hungry, broken world.
So today’s photographs take a brief look at our family – all over the world – beginning to get ready. Andrew and Alicia in Dresden, David and Beks in Richmond, Rebekah and Derek here in Wake Forest.
And tonight, as you can see in the photo of me getting costumed for my role as guide, Wake Forest Presbyterian Church begins our three-day “Walk Through Bethlehem.” It’s our Christmas card to the community, an invitation to begin the season of Advent with our eyes fixed firmly on Jesus and our decision to live as disciples front and center.
Lord knows we could all use all the help we can get! Where will your journey take you over the coming weeks?
Peace – DEREK
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.