Find Ann’s post and many others in DaySpring’s Winter Magalog!
Steam rises from loaves of holiday bread cooling on the counter. The snow keeps coming down.
Checking off the to-do lists in late afternoon: lay out dishtowels to wrap the loaves up in, tie with sprig of cedar, a bow of raffia — gifts for the neighbors, the mailman, the farm vet.
Hard to wait for them to cool. Hard to wait. Hard, with all the lists and to-dos, to still at all in the spin of the season.
This, the season of waiting wonder: God gestates.
For nine long months, The Maker of everything hovered over the waters of the womb, divided His own cells and pulled on skin. God waited to make His entrance. Mary gently rubs her swelling abdomen. She waits. She prays. She stretches.
God stirs within. He moves her.
Is that how to truly enter into Christmas? Christmas comes like Christ: in the resting wait of gestation.
Like a mother longing for the holding of the Child:
1. We count the days.
Each day, opening the advent calendar square, reading the verse, each day turning over the next page in the tabletop devotional. We count and anticipate and wonder what this all means.
2. We think of His names
His names on the candlesticks, His name on the turntable, His name on the advent calendar, His names on the mantle: Messiah, Redeemer, Mighty God, Savior — Bread of Life. We wait for what will come from above and unexpectedly, right into our mire.
3. We prepare gifts for the Child.
We light candles and make a space in our hearts. We send cards of celebration to friends far and near, reaching out with His love. We invite a friend in for a cup of something warm and give her the gift of a listening ear. We give to the least of these and this is the gift to Christ Himself.
These gestational waiting days of anticipating the Christ Child, they gloriously stretch us. Yet– whenever Christmas begins to burden, it’s a sign that I’ve taken on something of the world and not of Christ. Any weight in Christmas has to be of this world. Christ came into this world as grace to lift all the weighty burdens.
Christ the Babe comes to us in Christmas as Christ the Savior comes to us on the Cross — seeking only our embrace.
I look over my list on the counter. What if I laid down efforts and expectations, perfectionism and performance? What if I breathed deep and simply waited with arms and heart and eyes wide open? What if Christmas was the season to let go of to-do lists adding up — to receive what’s coming down? Love comes down.
Christmas, it isn’t a product to wrap but a Person to unwrap. What can keep me today from simply receiving Him? Love comes down.
Christmas, it can’t be bought. It cannot be created. It cannot be made by hand. Christmas can only be found. Where am I looking for Christ in the unexpected today? Love comes down.
In the stillness, we feel it — His movements. In the stillness, our hearts leap — His coming! In the stillness, we know it– what falls down upon us — breath of heaven.
Love comes down.
The steam of the bread it rises and I stand at the window watching it all come down, white and perfect and weightless.Leave a Comment
Your heart words alway come with sweet tenderness and sharp truths….I do want to find Christmas everyday….
I read this in a devotional this morning…”He only asks that we go to Him with a heart dilated with faith and complete trust in His all -powerful, merciful Love.”
Blessings sweet Ann as we travel and feel Love come down….
This post was filled with so many truths I needed to hear during this season. Thank you for sharing such warmth and the reminder of the power that is shared when Love comes down.
This is shockingly beautiful. Profound. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words!
Maureen@Loving This Life says
Heather Conrad says
Just what I needed. Truth. Warmth. Perspective. From one little Ohioan, thank you.
Beth Williams says
“We think of His names”. Funny you should mention this. Our pastor has been preaching on the various names of Christ From Isaiah 9:6. We’ve discussed wonderful & wonderful counselor.
Profound words. It is soo true that people tend to rush around at Christmas. I think the true meaning of Christmas has been lost in the hustle & bustle of everyday life. We need to remember, sit in stillness & unwrap the best most perfect gift of all time–Jesus!
Jeri Taira says
The title alone brought my heart so much fullness. Yes indeed. Love.