Wednesday, December 22, 2010

what have we done?

There was silence as we viewed the next image on the computer screen;

photos from December 2008; our last Christmas in Savannah.

They were like glimpses out of a fairy tale.

The clean white hearth and mantel, decked with garland and soft shimmering lights. A lavish gingerbread house sprinkled with colorful candies. Our traditional ferry ride across the Savannah River to see the lights and gingerbread houses.

Lessons and Carols at the church.
An almost palpable glow of warmth in the crackling fire on Christmas Eve, surrounded by beloved family.

I felt a strange sensation; as though I were peering through some magical lens into another era, another world that was once home.

"We had better not look at too many photos; it will make us discontent."

Elise’s comment struck a chord.

What have we done to leave such beauty, such tranquility? What are we doing here in this sweaty, gritty, inelegant place, far from those we love?

With a sigh we looked at the last photo together. A few seconds passed in silence.

What have we done to trade all that... for this?

Yet that’s exactly what Jesus did. And that's what Christmas is about.

He left it all.

The wonder and beauty, the tranquility of His Father’s home, the companionship at His Father’s side. He became incarnate, leaving it all behind to come to this sweaty, gritty, inelegant earth.

“He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:17

He forfeited His culture of perfection to dirty His feet on our streets,

to taste our daily bread,

to communicate in our language,

and, beyond that, to lay down His life in ransom for ours,

to bring good news to the poor.

He left all He had for me.

Could I do any less for Him?

Amy broke the silence, and my heart swelled with joy to hear her words.

“I wouldn’t trade that house and that life for what we have now.”

Life here is not soft and clean and storybook-lovely.

It’s more like the stuff adventure novels are made of.

But I wonder now if we could be content with anything less than being part of this adventure. What have we done? We’ve just responded to Christ’s call; to bring good news to the poor…the riches of the Good News of the Incarnation to those for whom He came.

Thanks to all of you who have encouraged and partnered with us in responding to Him.

We miss you, but there's nowhere else we'd rather be.

Merry Christmas!


Julie said...

Amen. What a lovely post!

Merry Christmas to your beautiful family!

Carl G. said...

Thanks for following yonder star!
And a profoundly Merry Christmas!

Kay Heritage said...

*hugs* We love you. And thank you...

Elysa said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Barb! Just saw this video and after reading this post, I thought you'd appreciate it:

Rosalie said...

Thank you. That is precious. Love you all so much. Merry Christmas!