Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Christmas Star

This month, Jeff and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. The day Lizzie and I put up our Christmas tree, I thought about longevity as she placed the star on top of the tree. Jeff and I bought that star in New York City the year we got married 30 years ago. That first year, our tree was not much bigger than the star. The star towered above it, threatening to topple it over from its weight. 

As the years went by, our trees got bigger, and our star topped each tree every Christmas. After a while, it lost it's specialness. It was always there, a lot like our marriage...commonplace and easily taken for granted. 

One year, we plugged the star in, and nothing happened. No lights. I don't remember what else was going on that year, but we put the star aside and replaced it with another tree-topper. We didn't throw it away, but it wasn't important enough to work at fixing. Christmas came and went that year, and the star spent the holiday in its box. 
The next season came, and I expressed my sadness over the star. I didn't want some other topper, I wanted our star. Jeff saw how much it meant to me, and he fixed it. He had to somehow attach it to a short string of lights that plugged in to the tree's light system. I don't know exactly what he did, but by the time Lizzie and I had the rest of the tree trimmed, he came in with our star and plugged it in. All the extra lights made it shine even more brightly than ever!

Our marriage is very similar to our star. It's been there, constant, for 30 years. There have been a few seasons that we've ignored it, taken it for granted,
left it in the box. There was a time we almost threw the box in the trash. But when we realize how much we mean to each other and are willing to do the work, it shines more brightly than ever before. 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Night that Christmas Became Christmas

The Night That Christmas Became Christmas
by Ann Dunlap

The music and the madness
And the merriment of Christmas
Is so different than the dawning
Of Christmas long ago.
There was silence, there was stillness,
As the Savior came upon us
The night that Christmas became Christmas long ago.
The presents and the purchases
And the pageantry of Christmas
Leave an emptiness,
A longing in my soul.
For the wonder and the worship
And the winsomeness of Christmas,
Like there was the night that Christmas
Became Christmas long ago.
Oh be still, my soul, and listen
As the Heavens tell the story,
And creation shows
For all the world to know!
Hallelujah! Hail! Hosannah!
For Immanuel drew nigh,
The night that Christmas became
Christmas long ago.