Jesus – “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of!” – John 10:10
The emphasis this month may be Advent and Christmas, but it is all playing out in the context of real day-to-day life. It’s always an interesting juxtaposition, the storybook quality of the most magical time of the year alongside – and interwoven with – the nitty-gritty of run-of-the-mill life.
To me that is the power of the Good News: Jesus meets us exactly where we are and “enters in” (Where meek souls will receive him still the dear Christ enters in).
Up in Virginia our Richmond grandchildren have certainly grabbed the spirit of the season. Decorating, wrapping presents, helping make Christmas cookies. I will probably say this again when they are some other age, but isn’t eight and six about as perfect as kid wonder and excitement gets?
Yesterday I was on Facetime with Naomi when David and Beks got home from school. School buses are like huge cans of soda, shaken continually as they bump down the road. Then they stop and someone pops the lid; children come out in a stream of carbonated froth, effervescent and uncontainable.
Children are like a nonstop party that can barely keep below the level where some neighborhood ordinance is being flouted – only when the authorities knock on the door they end up joining the party too!
That’s Christmas. Christmas is a party everyone should enjoy because Jesus is a phenomenal, prodigious gift to the world. Christ came not as a fun-snuffing rule-giver but an open invitation to abundant life, so that we can live in the bountiful grace of a God who loves us so much the Incarnation happened and the way home was opened, not just for a few but for all!
That’s what today’s images say to me. Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Friend of Children, Wide-open Invitation.
Join the party why don’t you!!!!
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.