Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merry Christmas to all!

We have had a great time celebrating here in Cusco:
hot chocolate nights,
cookie decorating parties,
watching movies,
singing carols,
lighting fireworks,
cooking a big brunch,
and thinking about the amazing God-made-flesh that we serve.

I have to admit, listening to "I'll Be Home For Christmas" was a little depressing this year. I was only "home" in my dreams, but we have made a pretty great home here. It was fun and special, and God was with us. And we were in the center of God's will, so there was no place better to be.

There are some lyrics that have been really important for me this year:

1. My favorite Christmas song, "I Celebrate the Day" by Relient K, which says, "And the first time that You opened Your eyes did You realize that You would be my Savior? And the first breath that left Your lips, did You know that it would change this world forever? I celebrate the day that You were born to die, so I could one day pray for You to save my life."

2. "Spirit" by Switchfoot. I'm not really sure if this is technically a Christmas song, but I think it is a perfect reminder at Christmas. It says, "Spirit, come be my joy. Be my song, fill my lungs. I wont need anything but You. I found all that I want, all that I longed for in You. Wasted time, is when I'm far from Your truth. I've found all that I want, all that I long for in You." Most of the time, we get caught up in "wants" at Christmas time. Our Christmas lists. But the truth of the matter is, all that we want and all we long for is already found in Jesus Christ. I need to be reminded of that, and not just at Christmas.

3. Point of Grace "Emmanuel, God With Us." "Oh Emmanuel, God with us, Spirit revealed in us that we may be your hope to the world. Oh Emmanuel, God with us, with a light to break the darkness that we may show your hope to the world. Emmanuel, God with us." God is with us. God is in us. Why? Because we are blessed to be a blessing. We can't just keep what we have received; we must offer it to the world around us. That is the message of Jesus Christ this holiday season. As we reflect on our blessings, let's also become a blessing to others.

God bless you, and may the coming year be filled with joy, love, and grace!

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