Our Christmas was quiet … which was just the way we liked it, thank you very much. We spent the day together, just hanging out and enjoying one another. Kat joined us in the afternoon to open gifts and begin an Anne of Green Gables marathon (one of our Christmas presents to each other).
I’m not sure whether Bill liked his bee observation kit or his book about Ulysses Grant better. The bee observation kit allows him to have some of his bees inside the house in a manner that’s safe for the bees and any visitors. He can also use it to take some bees with their honeycomb and show them at schools, fairs, and farmer markets.
My favorite gift from him? I’m torn between the much-desire Kindle Fire and the new teapot he got me. It holds 1-1/2 kettles of hot water and I use three tea balls to brew it. I can usually drink about half of it at my desk and then I put the rest into bottles to drink cold the next day.
My favorite brew? One ball of peppermint, one ball of mullein, and one ball of stinging nettle. Good hot or cold.
Of course, our most important gift was given to us long before we were even born.
I tried to imagine it. It was a huge celebration in the heavens, evidenced by the choir of angels sent to perform for and inform the shepherds.
And to me, the fact that it was a celebration is part of the mystery. Maybe more of an absurdity. Yes, it meant that there would finally be a way that God could have Person-to-person fellowship with His creation, but …
He knew the cost.
On that night, He sent His Son to take up a life that was so much more humble than what He had in Heaven. He sent Him to struggle … just like us. He sent Him to go through crises and suffer … just like us. He sent Him to a death that He knew about ahead of time. A death that would be ghastly and torturous.
And Heaven rejoiced? (???!)
How could they? And why?
Here’s the key: “… Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame …” (Hebrews 12:2) He endured all this for “the joy set before Him” … the joy that in the end, we would be able to know Him … personally.
How does that make you feel? It makes me feel so grateful. I think it’s appropriate that our holiday season begins with Thanksgiving and moves through Advent, Christmas, and New Years. We start out in a spirit of appreciation … becoming more and more focused throughout Advent on what we should be especially grateful for … If you celebrate Hanukkah, then you have that extra boost of gratefulness for the power behind it all … culminating in Christmas, the thing we should especially be thankful for. Then, with New Years, we set up our intentions to live in thankfulness, live out our thankfulness throughout the coming year. Because intentional or not, the way we live our lives really does demonstrate how genuinely grateful we are.
Yeah. I guess rejoicing makes sense.