When the angels poke around checking for the baby in the hay (curious, and open, and full with wonder!)

Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!
    Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
 Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
    Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!
 Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord,
    for he is coming to judge the earth.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
    His faithful love endures forever.

1 Chronicles 16:31-34
– Rebekah and Derek heading out to church

If you haven’t looked at Saturday’s post (“When exactly have we ‘made it’“?), then I recommend setting aside five minutes for a good, careful read. I understand that a lot of you like to focus on the photography – and that’s fine – but there is some important writing there I’d like to see gain some traction.

For today, however, I’m sharing a handful of images that get to the heart of the weekend. Max got a shampoo and haircut, the children’s ministry kids were front and center at church, Rebekah continues to make our home shine with festive bling, the youth at WFPC got all over Wake Forest (and into my mum’s home) with a blitz of random acts of kindness, and the promise of the coming of Christmas continues to flood our hearts – and our home – with light.

– Nativity made by our kids, Andrew and Naomi

If you are at all confused about the thrust of the message of Christmas, then read the passage from First Chronicles above. Simply, and without getting into the quagmire of debates around doctrine, allow yourself to get caught up in joy and praise!

  • “Let the heavens be glad!”
  • “Let the earth rejoice!”
  • “Let the trees and the forest sing for joy!”
  • “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good!”

Christmas is God’s clear and generous invitation to come home, and to celebrate the liberating fact of our Creator’s great love.

  • If you are lost and wandering, then come in from the cold.
  • If you are angry, or hurt, let God embrace you with unconditional acceptance.
  • If you are worried that you don’t qualify, remember that exclusions are human inventions, and not the way of Jesus.
  • If you are one of those judgy people who finds yourself caught up in everyone else’s shortcomings, then stop it! Instead – get excited about the beautiful fact of God’s spectacular gift in Jesus.
– WFPC youth with my mum

Sunday morning at Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church, some of the angels in the children’s pageant were seen poking around in the hay, taking a closer look at Jesus. They have the right approach. Let us all be so curious, and open, and full with wonder – DEREK


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