As I write this update, we are just winding down from the Hewlett Christmas party, and what a great party is was. Ryan's mom made the most delicious dinner. We had Roast "Beast", Mashed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, green beans, my sweet potato dish,brussel sprouts, lots of appetizers and lots of sweets to nibble on and expand our waist lines. It was very nice to see everyone and to meet some of Ryan's family that I have yet to meet. There was 18 people here tonight and it was a lot of fun. It is always nice to catch up with family that we don't get to see all the time. We exchanged our gifts today, and it really does make me realize how fortunate we are. We are lucky enough to get such treasures as new flannel sheets for our beds, fiber optic Christmas decorations, and beautiful artwork for our homes. Lorraine made me the coolest sign for our house, when I get home I will post some photos. In a world of such need, we must really stand back and realize how fortunate we are to have all that we have. I thought that Uncle Paul had a smart idea to give money to a charity of one's choice for our Christmas gifts. These are the people that need to gifts of Christmas, and often the ones that have the most forget the reason for the season. Commericalization has made Christmas such a rushed season. You feel that you have to get your shopping done, your decorating done, your cards sent, etc.. etc. I know this feeling, as I feel it myself. However, we need to realize that Christmas is about a wondrous event that occurred on a Holy Night, the night that Jesus Christ, Our Saviour was born. What a wondrous story that needs to be focused upon more that this time of year.
Luke 2:1-20 (New International Version)
The Birth of Jesus
1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place as Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.
4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
The beauty and wonder of this story gives me a warm heart every time I read it, what a Holy Night this was. Take this story and share it with your families this holiday season, as it is the reason for the season.