Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Card 2012 and The Husband's Christmas Letter

    Merry Christmas from the White Family....

Thanks once again to the marvelous
Emily O. Holmes Paper Lovelies
for our card design!
On another note...

The Husband works for an incredible organization, Pinnacle Bank, that allows him the freedom to send his Christmas reflection to all 750 bank employees each year. It is a special gift that he does not take lightly. I look forward each year to reading what he has written. Here is this year's letter sent just before Christmas:

Christmas Blessing 2012
We are now in the season of “Advent” and with it comes that sense of joyful excitement that Christmas Day is just around the corner.  The word “Advent” itself denotes great anticipation and expectation with the Latin word adventres translated as “coming,” while the Greek word for Advent, parousia, is usually associated with the arrival of royalty.  For us it represents a great sense of “yearning” as we prepare to greet our King.

At the same time, while the traditional sense of excitement and joy is certainly present as we prepare to celebrate one of the two most important (in my opinion) days in history, I must confess that for me there is also a sense of numbness; of sorrow; and lingering mourning which I continue to feel.  Needless to say, the events of last week in Connecticut have shaken people to a level of disbelief possibly never before felt as we contemplate the loss of twenty beautiful young children to a tragic act of both terror and evil that so clearly reflect the fallen state of mankind.  So as I have continued to contemplate these young children and the families who have been devastated by this act, I have begun to realize this is a perfect example of why we celebrate with such great exuberance the birth of the Savior on Christmas Day.  For it is for times such as this that He has come to be among us.  He and He alone is the Master Healer of the wounded of heart; the Prince of Peace; the source of comfort and joy that ultimately supersedes our worldly circumstances.

Born in a obscure village to a peasant woman, Jesus came into our world of pain and suffering through Mary – who suffered the physical agony of childbirth with no pain relief; He was born in the cold of winter with the cleanest thing around Him being the hay covering the floor.  Christmas is about joy, but it is a joy that is reached through and never drifts far from human suffering in a fallen world where this precious Messiah would ultimately redeem our sin and our suffering.  As confusing as it may appear to be, how special it is to know that Jesus came to Earth amidst suffering for the ultimate expressed purpose to suffer because we suffer.  His love for us is so great that His purpose and desire was and is to remove eternal suffering from all who come to Him and proclaim Him as Lord.  As with the recent Connecticut deaths, let us not forget the infanticide that Herod ordered when he killed all male children under the age of two.

It is difficult for me to fathom the transformation which Jesus endured in leaving the glorious perfection of Heaven for a manger in the cold of winter.  Even more so, knowing that his place of birth was prophesied in Micah 5:2 seven centuries prior to this day we celebrate next week – it is indeed amazing that he was willing to leave the glory of paradise to become poor so that we could become rich in eternal things.

In times as we have recently experienced, we may be tempted to cry out to God in anguish and accuse Him of a sense of aloofness – of not answering our questions and our pleas for answers.  And yet we must only look to the story of Lazarus and the confusion which surrounded his death to see two of the most powerful words of the Bible in John 11:35: Jesus wept.  So rather than a sense of separation, we see tears that represent something so different.  While having the power to stop, reverse, or allow any action, God’s wisdom suggests that He keeps specific things from us in order to determine our real trust and faith in Him.  As in the case of Lazarus, He enters into our grief and sorrow as an example of perfect love – showing us that it is okay to have a sense of a broken heart as evidenced by sorrow and weeping.  By His birth on Christmas and living amongst us, He gives us not simply answers to our questions, but much more – He gives us Himself.  He gives us His tears; He gives us His anger at needless tragedy and repudiation of His commands; and most importantly, He gives us His Hope.  In our deepest sense of despair, He offers us not simply consolation, but far greater, He offers us resurrection.

Because Jesus was born into humanity, He opened the door to eternity for each of us.  Let us not be consumed by the gifts – giving and receiving.  Let us not merely celebrate Christmas, but instead know that we are celebrating Christ – the joy of a loving Christ presented to you and me as a gift through the grace and mercy of our Heavenly Father.  I encourage you, in the midst of whatever trial, challenge, or disappointment you face – to hold fast and firm to the joy and wonder and glory of it all – the Emmanuel, God with us!  The Christmas story is the ultimate rescue mission – Jesus coming to earth offering us the opportunity to be free from whatever enslaves us.
“Praise To The King of Kings
You Are My Everything
And I Will Adore You”

1 comment :

  1. Perfectly stated...thank you dear brother-in-law, for Christ IS Emmanuel, and our HOPE forever more. Much love to all of you.


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