Archives for December 2010

Season of Anticipation


Ah, the days leading up to Christmas… Such a season of anticipation. We find ourselves looking forward to many things with excitement — visits with family and friends, giving our loved ones special gifts, indulging in our favorite holiday treats, helping make Christmas a little merrier for a hurting soul, or carrying out our well-loved traditions. We each could add our own personally anticipated events to the list, couldn’t we?

I pray that reflecting on the coming of our Savior and time spent worshiping Him will be at the very center of our season of anticipation this year. Let’s take time each day to celebrate the fact that our Savior indeed was born so many years ago. Let’s not wait until Christmas Eve to begin our Christmas worship. Let’s let our season of anticipation become a holy one and fill our hearts with joy each day.

One good way to do this is with music. As you sing the carols of Christmas this holiday season, truly think about the message of each verse. With songs that have become so familiar, it’s easy to sing along happily but fail to really hear the messages of the carols with our hearts. Let’s not miss those messages this year. Let’s sing with our hearts.

There’s no better time to start than now. Join me in hearing afresh the message of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” (Latin hymn, author unknown) as we sing our worship today!

“O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Oh, come, our Wisdom from on high,
Who ordered all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!

Oh, come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Oh, bid our sad divisions cease,
And be yourself our King of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!”

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:23 KJV

*Flickr photo by johanneschnelldorfer, Creative Commons License

**Don’t forget to sign up for the Stocking Stuffer Giveaway!

Stocking Stuffer Giveaway!

December’s here! That means it’s time for me to shift into my “Ho, Ho, Ho” persona :) So to start getting into Santa mode, how about if I help stuff someone’s stocking a little early?

You’ve probably already guessed that the winner of my Stocking Stuffer Giveaway will be treated to some yumminess of his or her choosing at America’s favorite coffee shop.

Leave a comment on this blog post by noon Dec. 12, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $15 gift card to Starbucks. To make it fun, tell me about a favorite stocking stuffer — either one you like to give or one you like to receive. If I don’t know you personally or can’t contact you via your own blog, be sure to leave your email address in your comment or you won’t be included in the drawing.

I’ll kick off our stocking stuffer sharing. When my girls were little, I used to put Hershey’s Kisses, Miniature Reese’s Cups, and Snickers minis in their stockings — all in holiday wrappers, of course. Now that they’re grown, I go straight for the big bags of whatever their (and their husbands!) current favorite candy might be. I put a variety of other gifts in their stockings as well, but they can always count on some candy of some sort. If I love chocolate, I guess I figure they will, too :)

This holiday season as we’re busy stuffing stockings and placing presents under the tree for our loved ones, let’s also try to make Christmas a little merrier for someone less fortunate.

There are lots of organizations we can contribute time or money to who carry out wonderful ministries during Christmas, but let’s also be ready to act on unexpected opportunities that come our way. Let’s be ready to reach out with love and kindness and the hope that comes with the good news of our Savior’s birth. Let’s be ready to stuff a few stockings!

“She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20

*Flickr photo by stephenccwu