Welcoming December first is always exciting. Sometimes good exciting and sometimes not so good exciting. This is the month when I, like so many of you, am at my busiest. My preference is that it will be exciting for all the right reasons: The Reason. To think that Jesus was willing to come to us is a profound thought.
John sometimes describes the bosses he's known on big construction jobs. One of them was a bossy boss the kind who knows what he's doing and bellows orders from his office chair. Another was a get-down-in-the-dirt with him sort of boss. He also knows what he's doing, yet when he sees that his crew needs help, he tackles the job right along with them leading the way. Jesus is that kind of a "boss." He knew that we were never going to make it on our own and He was willing to come to us and get down in the dirt with us and help us take on this task called life.
This year, for the first time, I welcome December without my mother's physical presence. It is going to be...wait for the euphemism...a challenge. Ohhhh I have my memories...she was the very best Keeper of Christmas. She loved the holidays and made her home a Christmas delight replete with all the aromas of the holiday — baking and fudge making and savory smells from her cozy kitchen. Her home smelled like a gift shoppe all cinnamony and warm. She honored the Lord and opened her home and shared her life and the more tangible aspects of it. I am still learning of all the things she did. (Until last week when I was asked to donate pies to the library bake sale, I had no idea that my mother baked three or more pies to donate each year on the day before Thanksgiving! My response? No, thanks, no time for that!)
The mantle has fallen on me. Oh dear! There has been a fair amount of fretting on my part because, you see, I have my Thanksgiving failings so fresh in my mind.
Then I am reminded of the little quote in the photo above, which I have shared more than once. I'm going to tuck in to the Lord and listen for His voice and do what He tells me to do. I think I'll be surprised. I always am.
Tonight the outside lights go on. I am celebrating the Christ of Christmas along with my neighbors and community and the world because He deserves celebrating...every day. I will not shut down and hide out because I am chafed by loss or fear; I will celebrate because, for this one brief moment of the year, most hearts are turned once more to Him. He's on people's minds, however far in the background. I will celebrate and keep Christmas as my mother and grandmother and others have done before me in the firm hope that one day we'll all be celebrating in heaven together. I will be a Keeper of Christmas.