Day 19 Christmas Countdown 2022


Well, I heard from several people yesterday about that Living Tree choir and the Miracle play written and directed by our own Leslie Kent (who has guest posted on here a few times in the past.)

It seems many of us started our journey at First Christian around that event. I checked with Ma Lamb herself for date details and she’s checking programs some time today to verify but thinks it started in 1994. 

We would have started attending FCC the next year in the fall and I know our kiddos were welcomed into the rehearsals as if we had always attended. 

I sat in a pew in the old church, stitching trim on that Ninja costume I had promised Sarah which I told you about back on Day 9. I was somehow added into the script the next year and did that several years and then a new play was written. We did this many years at first the old church and then the new. 

After The Miracle, there was another play written by Leslie about a singing contest on a radio program that we did and I believe was a couple of years run on that and then a kind of musical production for a year. At some point, the feeling was that it was time to embrace change, which is a common theme at our church, and the tree was dismantled for the last time. 

But the people who were affected by it and mark a visit to it or participation in it as a significant signpost in their journey to knowing Christ more and serving Him has a legacy that has borne much fruit. 

So there is what I know about the Tree and such and here is our memory for today <3

This memory is coming from the very near past. Just this month. 

When we attended Andrew Peterson’s “Behold the Lamb of God” in Nashville, he read a Liturgy over us and included it in the program. 

Here is a small portion that I want to mention today:

“Our wreaths and ribbons and colored lights, our giving of gifts, our parties with friends – these have never been ends in themselves. 

They are but small ways in which we repeat the sounding joys first proclaimed by the angels n the skies near Bethlehem. 

In view of such great tidings of love announced to us, and to all people, how can we not be moved to praise and celebration in this Christmas season? 

As we decorate our tree, and as we feast and laugh and sing together, we are rehearsing our coming joy! 

We are making ourselves ready to receive the one who has already, with open arms, received us! 

We would prepare you room here in our hearts and here in our home, Lord Christ.”

A Liturgy to mark the start of the Christmas season, Every Moment Holy, Douglas McKelvey 2017 copywrite 

Mr. McKelvey, I hope you don’t mind me borrowing this to share with my friends. Here is his link so you can look it up. https://www.everymomentholy.com

I am at that place this year where I feel like we have had so many fun events. We have enjoyed all kinds of music, entertainment, time with friends and family. There are wrapped presents tucked everywhere and I am making menus and grocery lists and it all seems like so much excess.

I sit in the quiet at times and look at our tree glowing in the evening or early morning and I long to have made it more simple. The Polar Express of Christmas in America has once again taking us on a wild ride and I have participated heartily. 

I wonder if Jesus feels honored by it all. 

I wonder if He wishes I had done it differently. 

So the words of the liturgy speak to me and I look back over the meals we have shared, the shows and concerts we have taken in.

I reflect on our sermon series about Christmas from John’s perspective and the customers I have listened to as they share what the holidays will be like at their home this year. 

I think of friends who are grieving family who have passed this year and I think of how I look forward to seeing some of my favorite people open what I picked out for them and how I pray they will feel like they are loved and listened to. 

All the spectrum of emotions and thoughts rolled up and spilling over inside of me. 

And it’s a lot, friends. 

When we were nearing the auditorium for Caroline’s recital Friday I told Russ I was all jumbled up inside. All the excitement and anticipation and such has caught up with me like it does every year. 

And into this, all of this, a child was born. 

Jesus understands all that is going on inside of me. He sees why I did this or that for the people we love. He was there when the charge card was processing and as the lists were being made, He leaned over Russ as he took on the sending of our cards this year. 

He was there when we strung lights and when we restrung them and then did it again.

He calms my mind when it is racing and reminds me that no one cares if we buy the cheese and meat tray from Sams or I hand cut it all. 

He helps me sort out the temporal from the eternal and He understands we live in the tension of both. He turned water into wine at a wedding so the guests could continue the party and He offered the cup to His followers on the night He was betrayed so we could be forgiven and reconciled to God. 

He is aware that we have added a bunch of other things that are special and precious to His birth celebration, and He loves us.

He is faithful and wise and wonderful. 

How thankful I am for all of this <3

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  1. I am thankful, too, for much has been given us, so undeserved. God has been Good to us thru the many years if His Faithfulness……throughout eternity.

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