city of David a Saviour,
which is Christ the Lord. ~Luke 2:11
Can you imagine that first Christmas? I try but I'm certain I come up short. The sights, the sounds, the smells... How did Joseph and Mary take it in? Did they understand all that was happening to and around them? What did their conversation with the shepherds sound like? How about when the Wise Men arrived - were Joseph and Mary surprised that the birth of Jesus elicited such a response even so long after that amazing night? Did it give them an inkling of what was to come? What happened in the intervening years - what did God tell them as Jesus grew? How did they feel as each of their additional children were born? Did they ever stop being in awe of who their firstborn was?
On and on and on my questions run. I can't imagine their life as "mundane" but I know those mundane, routine "life" things had to take place. Work needed doing, the house needed repairing, food needed fixing, children needed schooling, the weeds needed pulling... The list could grow quite long but what was it like, in the midst of all of that, to remember you were living with the Son of the Most High every day? To wait with expectation for "the" day that you knew God would choose to do whatever miracle you imagined He was going to do. The "saving" you knew was coming because, well, here was His Son as the proof.
This Christmas things have been different. My weeknights have been spent at home, quietly with my family, as we watch snowflake after snowflake blanket our homes, yards and roads. Driving has only been by necessity - to work (arriving late, leaving early) and home. That's it. Seattle is not a place that gets more than 3"-4" of snow at a time and then it's gone in two days. Since December 14th, it has snowed or been icy every day. My van hasn't moved out of the driveway in that entire time. I've relied on the kindness and indulgence of my husband to drive me to and from work every day.
So, this week, my thankful list revolves around those reminders that the importance of every day is not in whether or not I have the perfect gift for under the tree but instead that I spend time in the presence of my Saviour, who humbled Himself and came to earth as a baby all those many, many nights ago. Does it matter if it was actually December 25? No. It matters that He came and it matters that I never take that for granted.
I'm not sure I can even type my gratitude as a list this week. It is, instead, an overwhelming feeling that brings goosebumps to my arms and tears to my eyes. I am so incredibly in love with Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for and awed by our Father who has a plan for ALL of His Creation (...but when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law... ~Galatians 4:4), where each part of His plan happens in its "fullness of time," prescribed by God. Not a moment before and not a moment late and always in perfection. I am so amazed - and incredibly grateful - for the Holy Spirit who agrees to dwell within me, with all of my imperfections and constant "ick," loves me and guides me to follow the God I choose to serve. Gratitude that extends to the ability to make that choice - God gives us the free will to choose or not choose Him every moment we take breath. To add amazement to the wonder, He welcomes us back with open arms every single time we realize we have strayed off of the path that the choice to choose Him means we take.
What it cost Jesus to give up His position in the kingdom of God for the time He was on this earth is something I can't even begin to imagine. The love it took to go from Begotten Son of God to the cross is unfathomable. Yet the joy I feel because I know He did...
We sing "Joy to the world, the Lord is come... let earth receive her King... let every heart, prepare Him room... and heaven and nature sing. He rules the world with truth and grace... and makes the nations prove... the glory of His righteousness... and wonders of His love..."
We sing that at the top of our lungs, with music as powerful as we can make it and when I hear it that way I think I get a glimpse of the praise of heaven.
And I am thankful for that first Christmas.
May you and yours be blessed. Don't forget to pop over and read more Thankful Thursday posts; join Iris over at Grace Alone...