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Christmas

 Have you ever had simultaneous pains of panic and rushes of excitement?  I suppose it is an everyday occurrence for those of you who are sky divers, bull riders or astronauts, but to everyday, ordinary people like me it doesn't occur very often.  This year as Thanksgiving Day faded into Thanksgiving night I was overcome by the strange emotional cocktail that began with the thought, Christmas is coming.

Wasn't Valentine's Day just a couple of weeks ago?  Where has the year gone?  In years past, Susan and I have been finished with our Christmas shopping before we carved the Thanksgiving turkey, but not this year.  We've done some shopping, but we're a long way from being finished and time seems like such a precious commodity this year.  I have several trips planned before Christmas and we're in the middle of a cross town move, so frankly, I don't know where we'll scrape together the time for decorating, shopping or celebrating.

Last year as we packed away the tree and ornaments, I made a mental note that I wanted to spend more time preparing myself for the next Christmas than I have in years past.  I wanted to immerse myself in the spirit of the season and use this time of year as a spiritual catalyst to draw nearer to God.  What an exciting thought! 

This new Christmas season brings with it a brand new opportunity to marinate my soul in the depths of God's grace.  To read, reread and meditate on the scriptural narrative of how God became man, born of a virgin to live a sinless life, die a vicarious death, return from the dead with he keys of death, hell and the grave in His hands and ascend to heaven to prepare to return to redeem His church. 

Nothing can keep me from making this Christmas the most meaningful season of my life.  Not my schedule, budget nor my circumstances.  Nothing that is, except my attitude.

I know that carving out time for a special daily devotional that focuses on the Christmas story might not sound as exhilarating as jumping out of an airplane, spending eight seconds on the back of a wild beast or orbiting around the earth, but then again, the excitement from those things fade with time while knowing the Christ of Christmas has eternal ramifications.
 

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