The heater was on last night. I saw where the Hallmark Channel has starting running Christmas movies. Some of you might even be humming, “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” I thought that I would remind you of why I write these little stories.
Two years ago, God led me to write a series I called, “25 Days of December.” I loved writing those articles; it was fun to share stories that we have told in my family for years. I probably got the most responses from my tale of three sisters (I was the middle one) lighting candles in our room on Christmas Eve. Late in the night, our father, hearing strange noises, came into our room to find us “hiding” the burning candles under a sheet. One dear friend, emailed me saying that she had had to stop reading the tale to her husband as he drove for fear that her laughter might cause an accident. (Accident? Hmmmm…) Anyway, my point of those stories was that we need to treasure family, friends and even strangers because God loved us so very, very much.
That led me to last year. After completing “25 Days of December”, I happened upon an old hymn of the church, “We Gather Together.” The words of that hymn have occupied my mind for nearly 23 months. (My 2014 series is on my blog “wegathertogether14.com”) You see, I believe we need to gather together more now than ever before. I need you. I need other Christians. I need other Americans. Have no doubt that we have differences; but, we do not need to fear those differences. We need to gather together, to stand together, because we need each other.
I will share my little holiday stories and thoughts as the days grow colder and the night skies grow brighter. Sometimes cold and difficulties do that for us – they make it easier for us to see clearly what is most important. We learn again the importance of seeking the bright and warm lights of family and friends. We long for home, whatever and wherever “home” is to us. Most of all, we seek God. Our hearts strain to get above the noise and struggles that surround us on this earth and to find heaven.
But, our daily lives fight us. At the same time that we long to “gather together” we are pushed and pulled away and apart. So, my purpose is to fight against that pressure; I will strive to unite, to intentionally, to purposefully gather together.
- Instead of accepting the conventional wisdom that texting and emailing and blogging and facebooking separate us, let us use these tools to unite us when we cannot be together physically.
- When, the costs of family reunions are too high, let’s skype.
- When December 25th is a bad date for “our” Christmas, then let’s make “our” Christmas happen on December 10th or January 14th.
- When the world says that I should protect myself, I desire to be open and loving and vulnerable. I may take a punch or two, but it is worth it!
- When the acceptable thing is to acceptable, I will say “Merry Christmas” and “God Bless You” and “Peace.”
This holiday season, let’s gather together. Let’s ask the Lord’s blessing!! Lord, MAKE US FREE!!
“We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing; He chastens and hastens His will to make known; The wicked oppressing now cease from “distressing; Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.
“Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining, Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine; So from the beginning the fight we were winning; Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!
“We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant, And pray that Thou still our Defender will be; Let Thy congregation escape tribulation; Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!”
Jill (just one of kids)