Thursday, December 10, 2009

The countdown begins...

Only 15 days left until Christmas!  Our calendar is full already and each day we seem to add more to it!  Yesterday I had the day off work as we were  expecting our friends Andy & Durinda for a holiday visit.  Before they got to town, Jim and I took a quick trip up to the outlet center in Gettysburgh for a couple of Christmas gifts.  After Andy & Durinda had arrived, we went downtown for a nice lunch and stopped in a few of the different shops that line Market Street.  After Michelle and Isabella arrived, we had a wonderful time exchanging gifts.  Isabella received a guitar, microphone w/stand and a headset-all hook up to an amplifier!  I know, I said they were our friends and they still are even though we offered to let her keep that gift at their house! Ha!  She loved it and that is what is important.
Afterwards, we headed back up to Gettysburg for dinner and a Holiday Concert at the Majestic Theatre featuring The Lettermen.  I had of course heard of them, but couldn't tell you any of their songs, but I was assured that I would recognize their songs when I heard them and I did.  They sang such hits as:
Goin' Out Of My Head, When I Fall In Love, Traces/Memories, Theme From A Summer Place, etc. 
It was a wonderful show! 

At one point in the show Marc, the tall dark haired one in the picture above, was doing an intro to a song and he was quoting Scripture.  A very familiar passage that I am sure we have all heard dozens if not hundreds of times.  It is from Luke 2:1-7-'And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.'
What struck me though was that while reciting this passage, Marc was so moved he was brought to tears.  I thought about how many times during a Holiday tour he must recite those words, yet he was still moved to tears.  And I thought about those words, and I thought Mary and Joseph and how they must have felt and I cried.  How often do we hear something yet not listen or not take the time to think about what is truly being said.  Think about it.  Think about the faith that Mary had in God as she was told that she would bear His Son.  About Joseph, and the faith that he showed in Mary when he found out about this Child, God's Child.  How difficult it must have been for them, how frightening. 
Bella has a little advent calendar that has a small piece of chocolate behind each little door.  It also has a Bible verse on the inside of each door.  Yesterday, as we opened the door she asked for me to read the verse to her before she got her chocolate.  "And each went to be enrolled, each to his own town."  Luke 2:3
She looked at me and asked me what it meant and as I tried to explain it to her, I became so choked up that I had difficulty speaking.  Why does this move me so?  I'm not sure.  I mean, I know how the story ends, not the ending with the Wise Men, but the end of the story as in Matthew, when Jesus is crusified and buried in a borrowed grave.  That one, that end of the story.  The end is still the same just as the beginning remains the same. But because of that beginning and that ending our story can change. We can change our story, our beginning and our ending.  Just by believing the way that Mary and Joseph believed all those many years ago.
So as you look at your Christmas tree and see the star perched atop the tree or an angel in all her glory, think about the beginning of the story, why we celebrate this wonderful season and who we are celebrating. 

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