Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Cream in the Puff

If you want a Christmas that's authentically FESTIVE, you have to put in the right ingredients.

As I'm eating my leftover cream puff, I have to tell you the cream filling was a complete concoction. I thought about my desired result:  Yuletidish (new word I JUST coined!).  I added what would get me to that flavor. I started with my recipe for Coconut Cream, but for Christmas I added cinnamon & nutmeg, and it was just right for the yuletide fare.What we end up with depends on the ingredients we choose.

If you want an authentically FESTIVE Christmas, think about those ingredients NOW. So often the Season passes and leaves women feeling empty and sad, disappointed and let down, like something never happened that should've. If we just grab a recipe off of the world's shelf, the "Magical Season" will end, and we will find the festivity was fake and hollow.

True festivity is born out of FAITH. The very first celebration of Christ's birth was accompanied by the faith of common folk like me, who had faith to expect an old lady wife to get pregnant, faith to accept a young wife with her "I'm a real virgin" story, faith to follow a star, and faith to leave work and go look for a king. Faith is the womb of a truly festive heart. 

After the Angel declared her part in God's plan, Mary responded:  
"'I am the Lord’s servant ... May your word to me be fulfilled.' Then the angel left her." (Luke 1:38)  Mary had FAITH in God's promises and good intentions for her.                                 When her relative Elizabeth, already miraculously pregnant in her old age, received Mary at, Elizabeth declared,  "Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!" (Luke 1:45)

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see" (Heb. 11:1)   Faith is not forgetting to be confident in Jesus and assured by His Word, even when we're busy. It's not letting holiday things become excuses for changing the flavor of celebrating Jesus' birth. "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ." (Rom. 10:17)

Faith prepares the way for joy to linger long after the magical night turns to morning, when fellow shepherds laugh at our story, or when we travel back home to where we came from. When festivity is born from Faith, it's authentic, and that's not a let down.  

What flavor do you want your Christmas cream to be?  Decide now and then add those ingredients; you get what you mix in. I do NOT want to get to the after taste of Christmas and wonder why the festivity was tasteless. I'm going to add the Faith in NOW so that this season is as rich as it should be. If you want this year's celebration to be truly FESTIVE, let the main ingredient be a generous scoop of FAITH.

What are you doing already to help your festivity to be faith-filled?  Not sure where to start in the holiday pantry? Try one of these:
  1. Read through the book of Luke, 1 or 2 chapters per day.
  2. For the remaining weeks before Christmas, choose one of these to read daily for each of the 3 weeks until Christmas:  Matt. 1&2, Luke 1&2, John 1:1-18
  3. Read these verses and then memorize the part of the passage you can complete by Christmas.
  4. Read these 2 verses out loud every day from now until Christmas. Make a 3x5 card with each of the 4 names on them, and hang them where you can see them.
  5. Make a list of what you believe about Jesus.
  6. Do you have another idea to share?

1 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Taralwalker said...

Great ways to really prepare our hearts for Christmas!
I like to study the names and attributes of God. I start with Immanuel - "God with us" - because He came to earth to be with us. Then I follow up with His other attributes because these are the things manifested to me because He first came to this earth to save me! Focusing on who He is always fills me with faith in who He is and complete wonder that He would come!