Central to any spirituality is its conception of what is ultimately real. The Christian knowledge of who God is determines the character of Christian spirituality.

- Simon Chan

currier

Christmas Greetings from Belgium

December 2014

 

The emotions people feel as they anticipate Christmas do not always correspond to those pictured in holiday store fronts or Anon1228432650-ItsANormanRockwellChristmas695128_lgglitzy advertising campaigns – happy and harmonious families seated at table as they hail the arrival of the golden turkey, or friends gathered around a crackling fire beside the magnificently decorated tree.

 

For some people, the thought of Christmas accentuates their loneliness or depression. For others, it reminds them of their inability to put food on the table, or of their fractured families and wrecked relationships. The approaching holiday season may highlight the loss of a loved one, magnify the ache of unfulfilled desires or intensify the fears associated with serious illness. Perhaps you or someone close to you feels this Quote1way. And the thought of pretending all is joy and light and wonder is just too much. Is there any hope? Is it possible that we might strip away the tinsel and find something real and enduring to celebrate, no matter the state of our soul?

 

As I contemplate Christmas, three images come to mind: An innocent babe whose birth brought acclamations of joy and hope to weary hearts. The Lion of Juda, who banishes all fear as He takes on the burden of our battles. The slaughtered lamb, whose death cleanses us from our filth and guilt. Which image resonates with you?

 

Can we look beyond our broken selves and shattered world and catch a ‘whiff’ of Heaven as we contemplate the God-child’s startling arrival on our lowly planet? Can we rejoice as we see the Lion “take (His) sword and battle through the thicket of the things (we) have become,^1” thus freeing us to love? Can the bleeding lamb truly wash us white as snow so that we may dance unhindered, anticipating the day when we will fall into the Father’s loving embrace?

 

These are the Christmas images I want to cling to and celebrate as the day approaches. This is the reason why I choose, even in the midst of all that is wrong, to honor Jesus just because of who He is. I pray you find strength and comfort that frees you also to bless his Name this holiday season. Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise! We wish you and yours a most blessed celebration of Jesus this Christmas. And we give humble, heartfelt thanks to you for partnering with us through your prayers and faithful support.

God’s richest blessings on you and yours,

Judy and Trip

 

1 Creed by Adrian Plass

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