Peace family, this year, I’ve made most of my gifts to others out of wood.
I made Advent wreaths, and it has been a painstaking, dirty, sometimes sweaty process, but it’s also been an intimate one. The work takes time and labor. You breathe in a lot of piney saw dust, you put in a lot of effort with your hands through tracing, cutting, and smoothing the wood, and you use a lot of mental focus.
As I carved out the wooden shapes, I thought a lot about the carpenter that was born for our salvation. I thought about all of the work and physical pain involved, and the fact that Jesus would have been much more skilled at making straight and curved lines than I am! One of my favorite parts of the process, though, was the wood burning. On the bottom of each wreath, with burning-hot tools, I etched out part of John 1:14, “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory.”
Peace family, I know things can feel a bit frenetic with Christmas in a few days, but this holiday was not designed to be stressful. Traditions are beautiful and provide stability and comfort, but so many of the things that we love about this season, when it all boils down to it, aren’t really necessary to make Christmas into Christmas. If you are focusing on Jesus, then you are doing it right!
It’s still Christmas without a tree, music, lights, decorations, presents, cards, cold weather, special foods, or even specific days, services, or family. It’s Christmas– a celebration of the birth of Christ– because God provided Jesus for us, to save us from our sins. We couldn’t do it ourselves, but God had compassion on us, and wanted something better for us.
Jesus is “God with us,” Emmanuel, the powerful Word of God made human to live in our midst, and for thirty-three years, people saw his glory face-to-face. We too, behold his glory, although in different ways, and embrace the tidings of great joy that are for all people. We look towards Christ’s return with expectation in our hearts for the righting of a cruel and topsy-turvy world. How glorious that will be!
Peace family, I encourage you today to take a little time to focus in on God becoming flesh and living among us, so that we can see his glory, and I wish you a Merry Christmas from everyone here at Peace 107.