Doug Creamer: Merry Christmas
Most of you know that I am retired. I figured that since I was retired, Christmas decorating and preparations would go exceedingly smoothly this year. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I think I have been busier this year than in previous years. I look at my calendar and I have something to do or someplace to be every day this week, and that was the same for last week.
I thought we would have our tree up early and be able to leisurely enjoy the process. I think we got a later start this year, and it isn’t quite finished yet! Even the outside decorating took longer because I had to get up the leaves and clean out the gutters. One good thing is that we have our shopping done already. We have become online shoppers. We did go to a few stores, but it is so much easier to shop online.
With a few more days to go, I believe we will make it. We do have Jesus, Mary, and Joseph sitting out, but I need to get the snowmen that are sitting on the same table moved to a different place. There is some cleaning and straightening that needs to be done. I am also hoping to get the Christmas cards out today. And oh, it’s going to be nice day today, maybe I can get a few things done outside…. No wonder I had trouble getting to sleep last night, with my thoughts running so fast.
We have been doing some of the traditional things to ready our hearts for Christmas. We pulled out our Christmas movies and have been watching them. I haven’t been playing Christmas music as much as I thought, but that will change; I am ready to sing along with all my favorites. I have been out a few evenings recently and have really enjoyed seeing some of the Christmas lights.
Honestly, I know things will get done and we will have a nice Christmas. There are a few gatherings to attend, and I am looking forward to our candlelight service at church. This morning I started a devotional book from my sister about Christmas, that I read every year. It tells the story mixed with poems and many of the great Christmas carols. It takes a week, but it helps to get my heart ready and my thoughts focused on the birth of our Savior.
Last week I was invited to speak to a book club that meets near Albemarle. We had a good group of folks and a very special time together. I really enjoyed seeing some old friends. I shared a story about how valuable we are in God’s eyes. We often think less of ourselves, but God thinks very highly of us.
I shared with those gathered that it is hard to consider the birth of our Lord without realizing the purpose for His coming. He came to die for us. Sin had broken our relationship with God. There nothing we can do to fix it. We can’t do enough good deeds. We can’t earn God’s favor by trying to live right. The only way to restore our relationship with God is through the forgiveness that Jesus offers us at Easter. God thinks we are so valuable that He sacrificed His own Son so He could buy us back and re-establish the relationship He desired for us.
God loves you more than you will ever understand. His gift of forgiveness is available to all who will receive it. Do you realize that the God of the whole universe wants to know you on a personal and intimate level? He wants to reveal Himself to you. Jesus came to make all that possible. He came, born in a manger, giving up all the comfort of heaven, to be with us. Jesus wanted to reveal the depth of God’s love, forgiveness, grace, mercy, and peace.
All of this is available to you if you will open your heart to God. God’s done His part, now it’s time for us to do ours. I want to encourage you to not only receive, but also to open and experience God’s love this Christmas. He comes humbly as a baby born in a manger so we all can find access to Him. He is gentle and loving and cares deeply about everything in your life. Give God the best Christmas present He could ever receive…your heart, your life, given to Him. Merry Christmas! May God fill your heart and your home with His perfect love, His peace that goes beyond understanding, and His uncontainable joy!
Contact Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org