December 10, 2008: Every year I wait for the magic moment to take over when I suddenly want to spread cheer and put up that heavy cantankerous Christmas tree. This year once again the "Christmas Spirit" has been slow in coming for me. I'm thinking that maybe I put too much pressure on myself wanting Christmas to be like I imagine it should be. But as I look back over my Christmases some have been better than I could have ever imagined and some have been rather mundane. Still, I always find there will be that moment when I get that rush of love in my heart that reminds me what the season is all about.

Last night something very unusual finally got me back to my normal excitement about this wonderful season of joy we're in. It was just a normal Christmas tradition that I had not seen in maybe ten years or so. It was there on my TV in my kitchen, "A Charlie Brown Christmas". I sat down to watch it and was amazed at how much it witnessed to me. When Charlie finally realizes what the true meaning of the Christmas holiday is all about once again I remembered too. When I hear that child like voice telling the Christmas story my heart swells with the glory of it all. Thank you Charlie.

As I look outside of my own life I realize that for so many, this is going to be a hard season. I have met people in churches I have visited that are having some of the most heart breaking times of their lives. If we watch a news report for more than two minutes we can see that having to put up a Christmas tree, bake cookies or buy gifts is the last thing on the minds of a great majority right now. I pray that maybe they have a chance to watch a simple cartoon about a group of friends discovering that Christmas isn't about the pitiful Christmas tree that Charlie Brown finds but about a Savior being born that can give them hope.

Jesus Christ came here to shine a light in the darkness. He came here to be the good news we're all so hungry for. In Luke 2:10-11 the angel of the Lord tells the shepherds living out in the fields "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." (NIV)

The glory of the birth of our Lord Jesus will always find us if we're looking for it. But it isn't about just one day; it's about a lifetime of looking for His light and listening for His good news. May the hope of Christ be with you all in this season. May His love embrace and comfort you and know that our Savior is all grown up now and sits at the right hand of our Father, God. He's not surprised by anything we're going through and He is always just a prayer away.

Merry Christmas,


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