Saturday, December 24, 2011

Come expectant Jesus

Paul mentioned a few days ago how Christmas has a different feel to it.  I have pondered over that comment for the last few days.  I never asked him to clarify, but wondered if he was disappointed that it was different, or was it just an observation?

Tonight I asked him about it.  I guess we came to the same conclusion.

Christmas doesn't have the same excitement and expectation as it used to.  When we were younger as soon as Thanksgiving was past we were eagerly awaiting Christmas and all the magic and gifts that it held.

I guess the feeling is a little different now that we are older.  But I think that is OK.

Becuase I have found over this past month that I still have been eager with anticipation.  I have been eager to share Christmas with my kiddos - both the big ones and the little ones.  My own kids know the Christmas story better than some of residents do.  I have enjoyed sharing the Christmas story with them, helping them to see the awesome miracle that occurred all those years ago when God took on flesh and became like man.

And I love telling them how the story doesn't just stop there.  There is so much more of the story to tell, as you well know.

Today we decided to do another rendition of the traditional Slavakian dinner that we celebrate with Paul's family.  There were a few changes but we kept some of the same rituals:  Paul put a cross of honey on everyone's forehead, we shared a (graham) cracker with honey and wished each other a Merry Christmas.  Instead of wine, we had grape kool-aid.  Paul cut an apple and shared it with the group.  A resident helped me make the Slavakian nut bread earlier in the day.  We had that with fried fish (loaves and fishes).  Instead of saukraut we had brussel sprouts with bacon.  Raisins instead of prunes.  Sweet corn instead of sweet peas.  We did, however, still have the cottage cheese and the cream of wheat.  We set the table with a white tablecloth, hay, evergreen, and coins.  A candle was placed outside the window to welcome the Holy family.  An extra seat was set for the stranger who may stop by.
Why do brussel sprouts get such a bad rap?  These were delicious! Maybe it had to do with the bacon...

It was fun to share this tradition with the residents and tell them what each little things stood for and how different parts of the meal pointed to Jesus.

My hope is that as we all pass through this Christmas season and into the new year, we continue this feeling of expectation.  Because just as we waited for Christmas to come, we still wait for Christ to come.  We expect Him to come.

And some day He will.

Merry Christmas.

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