"We can always have as much of God as we want."
It is dim. Rain is falling. Belly full of home-made bread and spiced cider. A warm blanket. Legs curled under. Soft, warm tree lights remind me of the only Light.
And I know why we decorate for His birthday with light. It's our reminder that there is never darkness where there is the tiniest bit of light. Even on a winter's night, when the sun is gone by 4:30. Even when the rain hides the remnants of sunlight. Even when there isn't another light on in the house. There is light here with this tree for His birthday, these little bulbs making the room cozy and warming my soul...causing my mind to wonder at their brightness and my eyes to fixate on their appeal.
And our advent activity reminds us that Jesus comes as the Light.
Light enters the darkness and swallows it up. Majesty clothes itself in humanity and "humanity is overcome by Majesty." Nails pierce Glory and Glory pierces a messy, hurting world. "The hurt and the Healer collide." The Healer dies, the hurt dies, and even I must die. But the Healer rises...and I'm alive! (1)
Still, there has been a slaying. "And the part of me that died, as painful as it was, needed to." Selfishness, pride, insecurity...the hurt remains in the grave. "And when it tires to resurrect it's ugly, deformed, decayed head, I remind it that it is dead, lest it need another killing. Because I don't want another killing." (2)
A slaying. And, in His not-as-it-seems world, a life redeemed. A death. And a life abundant! All things new--that is life in the Light. And He gets glory. All the glory.
And it's no longer a tiny light from the tree piercing the darkness. It is radiant, blinding light stamping out the darkness. As the mountains surround a valley, so the Light surrounds His people, keeping back the darkness.
And we worship Him because He has done great things for us and we are filled with joy!
We want Him because His piercing presence fills our every longing. So we turn to Him sooner, more often, with anticipation. And we keep wanting more and He keeps filling more. Poured out like a waterfall, filling our hearts, overflowing, and washing them clean. Love poured out, falling down, drenching. Forgiveness poured out. Confidence. Joy. Strength. Peace. Ability to overcome. What we need. We want, we ask, we seek, we receive...until we come face to face with the Light. And we want no more.
Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel, our God with us. And ransom captives that mourn in lonely exile here until our Light appears. O come and free us from Satan's tyranny and give us victory over the grave. Disperse the gloomy clouds of night and put death's dark shadows to flight... (3)
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel has come to us!
Attitude of Gratitude:
102. apple juice
103. cranberry juice
104. cinnamon sticks
106. brown sugar
107. mixing 102-106 together to get spiced cider!
108. thankful to whomever thought up a Christmas tree as birthday decor
109. tree lights
110. Christmas movies that are about Christ
111. comfy couch
114. memory for all my memories (aka pictures)
(1) Taken from "The Hurt and the Healer" by Mercy Me. For more on Mercy Me, click here.
(2) Taken from Beth Moore's post on Living Proof Ministries blog. For more on Beth Moore, click here. To visit the blog, click here. To read Beth's post, quoted above, click here.
(3) Adapted from "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel."