Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
I pray you all are having a wonderful holiday season with those you love.
Our daughter Kenna flew in from North Carolina to share Christmas with us. So, I am taking a blogging break until after New Years to hang with her and spend some time with just the five of us.
Staying in our jammies til noon.
Making homemade pizzas and mock Orange Julius.
Playing board games and fighting over who is and who is not cheating.
(Just keeping it real, folks!)
In the mean time, I thought I’d leave you with something I wrote years ago when my children were small.
About this age :-)
From the Cradle to the Cross
“Read it again mommy. Pleeeease read it again,” Mackenzie, my then seven year old, begged. Her three year old brother, Mitchell echoed her plea. “Yes mommy, especially the part about the little boy and his donkey!”
Their freshly washed faces and still wet hair glowed in the light of the Christmas tree as they sat with pajamas on next to me on the couch. A nightly December ritual, they chose a book from our Baby Jesus Basket full of story books about the birth of Christ.
Their favorite this particular year was The Small One by Alex Walsh, a fictitious story of a too small donkey who has to be sold in order to bring in one piece of silver. His young master takes him to town but no one wants such a small creature except for the village tanner.
The donkey is ready to give up his life when a kind man offers to buy him to help carry his pregnant wife to Bethlehem. So the small donkey is given the great task of carrying the mother of Jesus to the stable where He will be born.
I have always loved reading Christmas stories to my children and each year they receive a new nativity book from my mom. That year, however, my eyes were opened to part of the story that I had been unintentionally leaving out.
After tottering over to the Baby Jesus Basket to put away the book we’d just finished, Mitchell asked me to read him a story from the Bible about the other Jesus.
“What other Jesus?” I asked.
“Not baby Jesus,” he replied. “Big Jesus who died on the cross.”
Now realizing that he’d not connected the two in his mind, I sat and explained that the baby Jesus grew up to be the same Jesus who died on the cross to save us from our sins. Somehow he’d figured baby Jesus was a fairy tale and big Jesus was for real.
I thought of how we adults can do much the same thing.
Oh, we know there is just one Jesus and that He is for real, but we are content to leave Him harmlessly in the manger.
Somehow a sweet adorable little baby is acceptable to the world around us. But a Lord who calls for men and women to choose either to obey Him or suffer the consequences is not.
But we can’t have one part of the story without the other.
We must never forget that the hand-hewn manger one day became an old rugged cross. We can’t just peer lovingly into the manger without looking obediently to the cross. Baby Jesus deserves our adoration as much as the Lord Jesus deserves our allegiance.
The next year I did not neglect the entire story of the one true Jesus when reading nativity books to our children.
Starting with Luke chapter two from God’s perfect word before I chose a picture book from our special basket we read of God’s wonderful plan of sending Jesus to earth.
We worked on memorizing more of the scripture in order to put on our annual nativity play for Grandma and Grandpa complete with baby Spencer starring as the Christ child.
Still today were inventing ways to keep the story going until Easter in order to tie it all together.
One woman told me of how they save their Christmas tree, cut off all of the branches so they are left with one large trunk. They then cut off the top about one-third of the way down and then using twine tie the two pieces together in the shape of the cross.
It is then placed in their house where the Christmas tree had been as a visual reminder of the entire life of Christ.
From the cradle to the cross . . . oh come let us adore Him– Christ the LORD!
Congrats to the winner of the Timbali Crafts handbag:
Nancy; Timestamp: December 21 at 5:40 pm
Email me at [email protected] with your mailing address so Suzanne can contact you about which bag you’d like.
See you all in 2011!!!
I was thinking you on Christmas morning, imagining what you looked like reciting the book of James to our Lord. I bet it was pleasing in His sight!
Your message at She Speaks really touched me and inspired me to seek God wholeheartedly and to know His word more passionately.
Blessings to You!
Hi Karen! “From the Cradle to the Cross” is so sweet! Have a VERY Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas to you and your family!! Thank you for sharing.
Merry Christmas to you and your family Karen! Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me this year. Enjoy the time together with your family and I look forward to “seeing” you in the Happy New Year!
Merry Christmas! And thank you for sharing your heart all through the year. May God bless you this Christmas with and extra dose of peace, joy and love. Oh, and an edge on those board games…