We waited. He came. Now what?

Among the trash bags filled with wrapping paper and Internet searches for leftover ham recipes, a different air hangs around the house. A deflated sense of Now What.

Two days ago the mood was wonder — what is in those boxes beneath the tree. Anticipation — anything could happen. Longing — Come, thou long-expected Jesus.

And come He did. In squeals and sparkles and over-stuffed stockings. In carols and cookies and cups of cocoa. In Legos and love and logs on the fire.

He has come.
He is here.

And it’s this part we forget to prepare for.

It reminds me of the first night home with our brand-new baby boy. After years of longing and aching and empty arms followed by months of maternity clothes and nursery prep and name debating, he was here. I’d read all the books but still didn’t really know what to do. So we took turns sitting by the crib watching him breath. Slowly you make adjustments and settle into a new kind of life. But one not ever the same. Because he is here.

Three decades after his birth, the question would be asked, “What shall I do with Jesus?”

It’s worth considering your answer today.
We waited. He came. Now what?

New toys will be old news before the calendar page is turned.  But the magic of Christmas need not wear off.

Like Mary, we would do well to keep all these things in our heart and ponder them.

Because the baby came. But He has not left. He never will.

So as we return to “normal” — Back to work. Back to laundry. Back to non-reindeer songs on the radio. — my heart holds fast to the baby in the manger. May the celebration of his coming become an invitation to meet with him every day.

He has come.
He is here.

My Christmas Wish is WITH

“She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.'” (Matthew 1:23)

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God is WITH us.

And “with” is such a powerful, beautiful word.

Not God over us. Not God under us. Not God ahead. Nor behind. Not sleeping. Not tiring. WITH.

With means beside. In communion. Doing life together.

God could have come to Earth in any number of ways. Demanding His rightful place. Making sure He could not be ignored.

But he chose a baby named WITH. 

Because in spite of us being a rag-tag group of messy misfits, He just simply could not imagine NOT being with us.

So whether or not you are with the ones you love this Christmas. Whether or not the gifts fit or the tree gets lit. Even if the Bumpus’s dogs eat your turkey.

My fervent wish — my prayer — for you all this Christmas is that the WITH-NESS of God will overwhelm you. And His WITH-NESS will stay with you all through the year.

Fountains of Hope

Where do you go to be filled?

All My Fountains, by Chris Tomlin (video link below)

This dry and desert land
I tell myself, “Keep walking on”
Hear something up ahead
Water falling like a song
An everlasting stream
Your river carries me home
Let it flow, let it flow

A flood for my soul
A well that never will run dry
I’ve rambled on my own
Never believing I would find
An everlasting stream
Your river carries me home
Let it flow, let it flow

Open the heavens
Come Living Water
All my fountains are in You
You’re strong like a river
Your love is running through
All my fountains are in You

Come on, and rain down on us
Rain down on us, Lord

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