How blessed we are to enjoy a family Christmas. At the Christmas Eve service at Trinity I had Cynthia, my wife preach. The danger is that my folks will be disappointed when I step back into the pulpit. The good is that I enjoyed seeing her preach and hearing her sermon in Trinity's sanctuary.
Then, after Holy Communion, and the candlelight singing of Silent Night, we jumped in the car and rushed to Isle of Palms to join the late service at First Methodist there, catching our eldest daughter by surprise. There we again enjoyed a beautiful service, and especially enjoyed hearing Lauren sing a duet of What Child is This. Kelsey commented in the service that this was the first time in months (since Annual Conference probably) that she had been able to sit with both her parents during a worship service!
Then, after Christmas morning at home, it was off to my mother-in-law's home for a family gathering. Christmas simply calls for family time. That's why it's so difficult when families are broken, or members are missing. Singles who learn to live well in daily life sometimes have to struggle with loneliness at Christmas, simply because of the unspoken call to be with family.
Knowing the true message of Christmas, who should be surprised at this? Christmas is family time for God and all God's creation. God sends his Son to become one with us. God says, through Christ I will make a way for you, a way for you to be with me. And thus we are called "children of God, heirs and joint-heirs with Christ."
With the packing of the car, and the travel, and the craziness of extended family time together, my senses get overloaded. But somehow in the chaos, the promise of God's blessing shines through:
Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds -- his name is the LORD-- be exultant before him. Father of orphans and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. God gives the desolate a home to live in. Psalm 68
Jesus answered, "Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. John 14
A home in the midst of all the chaos and confusion, sin and sorrow, loneliness and longing of this world. And how blessed I am to partake of it with family again this year. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!