There’s no snow in the air, but there IS a certain magic, dancing in the dark night skies outside our bedroom window. We have our noses scrunched against the glass. And we’re peering out, into the blackness, my siblings and I.
EEK! Look what arrived on my doorstep a few days ago! This, ladies and gentlemen, is the first copy of ‘Twas the Evening of Christmas, a brand new, premium picture book with a cover “that comes alive with foil and sculpted embossing.” (Thank you, Zonderkidz, for that lovely description!)
It was a boiling hot 85 degrees, as I perched the book on the table outside and took this photo…
It’s early in the morning on this Holy Saturday, and if you’re like me, you must be wondering just what was happening in that quiet Jerusalem cave. Perhaps it was something like this…
The Quiet Cave
Jesus had died. Joseph and Nicodemus were sad. They carefully took Jesus’ body down from the cross. They cleaned him. They wrapped his body in strips of white linen and carried him to a quiet cave on the hillside. They laid Jesus down inside the cave. Then they said goodbye. Before they left, they rolled a big stone over the entrance.
Outside the cave, two guards kept watch. The big heavy stone was sealed in place. And for three whole days, all was still.
But inside that quiet cave God was working. If you tried to peek inside, you couldn’t see anything. No eye could see it. If you stood outside and put your ear to the big stone, you couldn’t hear anything. No ear could hear it. If you tried to imagine what was happening you couldn’t. No mind could imagine it. But inside, God was doing something utterly amazing. Something only God could do. Jesus waited. And the world held its breath and waited with him.
It’s hard to believe, but we have reached the final part of our Bible study based on Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart. This book will be published TOMORROW! I feel like the woman in our Bible story for today…..happy! But, of course, Mary Magdalene had so much more to sing about than a new book release… Jesus, the King of the world, and the Lord of her life had just been released from thegrave. Let’s tiptoe to that quiet hillside with Mary and see what she sees…
It seems as if every time we meet Mary of Bethany, she’s at the feet of Jesus.
Two weeks ago, we met her sitting there, listening to his every word, and this week, we’ll find her not just sitting at his feet, but kneeling, as she takes his feet in her hands and anoints them. It’s one brave, bold, beautiful act for the man she loves and is soon to lose.
Raise your hand if you like people watching. I do.
There’s something fascinating about people. Jesus liked people watching too. And that’s where we find him in this story… sitting quietly in the wings, watching people as they dropped their offerings into the temple treasury box. In particular, he’s watching a rich man, who gave some of his money, and a poor widow, who gave all of it.
Now if Jesus was watching me as I dropped my offering in the church plate, I’m pretty sure it would make me dig deeper into my purse. Actually, if the Son of God was perched on the pew opposite, it would make me empty my purse too. But here’s the difference… Continue reading →
I have a confession to make… I’m a terrible host. I’ve never liked cooking that much, and when we have more than two people to entertain, I’m a nervous wreck. I cannot imagine how Martha must have felt as she busied herself for the arrival of Jesus and his disciples. It’s my idea of the ultimate nightmare.
I mean, Jesus is coming to dinner. For me, that would be like entertaining the Queen of England. Wouldn’t you want your place to be perfect and your baking top-notch if the Son of God was coming to your eat at your house? Hospitality was an important social requirement of the times. No-one can blame Martha for wanting everything to be perfect. Just imagine all the jobs she’d already done in preparation…
And then, the big moment arrives.
Slip into Martha’s sandals for a moment and put yourself in her position…
During the month of December, a jolly light up Santa would always stand proudly on our front porch. He was there, smiling to the world, ready to herald the arrival of Christmas. But a few years ago, we decided to upgrade to the Holy Family.
We arranged Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus on the front lawn, tracked down our extension leads, and plugged them in. Beautiful! The baby Jesus brought light to our neighborhood, which of course, is what Jesus always does.
My husband and I watched from the window as the children who lived in the street came to admire the display. It gave us a good feeling to advertise the true meaning of Christmas.
The countdown to Christmas is in full swing. with just twenty days left and little lights twinkling everywhere.
My Facebook feed is full of folks sharing their newly decorated Christmas trees, and just to add to the magic of the season, it started snowing yesterday, at least here in Michigan. I woke up to this wonderful world of white right outside my window.
Christmas is coming. Jesus is coming. That little baby, hope of the whole world, light of all life.. He is coming.
Christmas is simply the best time to begin making memories and establishing family traditions with our children.
At my final blog stop in the Christmas Love Letters from God tour, I’m sharing ideas for seven meaningful, memorable family activities to enjoy around the Christmas tree. Be sure to check out number seven… that’s my favorite one!
Each week leading up to Christmas, I’ll be featured on eight different blogs where I’ll be taking part in author interviews, sharing ideas for creating Christmas traditions, and hosting a book giveaway at every stop.
There’ll be book reviews, a chance for you to download your own DIY nativity cutout scene, and ideas for using Christmas Love Letters from Godas an Advent or Christmas devotional.
I hope you’ll join us at our first stop today with Vanessa Myers, a United Methodist Children’s Ministry Director, who shares some surprising thoughts about the book.