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You know when you are anxious and shaking and scared that the very worst thing you can imagine is actually happening and it does happen and it is terrible and you feel horrible, and yet in the midst of it you see god’s grace, and you know your worth isn’t it flawlessness but in faithfulness, and it isn’t in making people happy, but in seeking to honour your calling and your daily work. It’s been an exceptionally trying few weeks and I am tired and deflated, but it is almost Christmas and the saviour is almost here.

We often come to this time of year with so much to do and so much love unexpressed.

The anticipation of Christmas has never seemed so real and yet so different from days past. While the time with food and family and rest are real, it is the celebration of the season of Christmas — of why I live and work and breathe — that makes this all so welcome this year.

Some of my favourite Christmas stories are about finding grace in the midst of difficulty:

The carol “silent Night” was written for a choir when their organ broke. It is a beautiful carol and it came out of difficulty and frustration. I can certainly associate with the things that can go wrong in life of the church.

Sometimes, Christmas can make you feel a bit left out. Robert Louis Stevenson, in his will, left the date of his birthday to his friend her hated her own birthday being on Christmas.
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But Christmas for me has always been about love!

LOVE.

It’s probably the most overused four letter word in the english language. But what does it really mean?

I’m getting married in a month. On my left hand I wear a symbol of love. It is a symbol of promises made and of promises to be fulfilled. A symbol of anticipation and expectation, this ring reminds me of the love that I share with my fiancé.

Advent is a time of expectation and anticipation too.

It reminds us of the love that God has for us as we await the fulfilment of his promises.

What are we waiting for?! We await the greatest gift of all. Christmas is a time of fulfilment!

Christmas reminds us that God’s gift of Love in his Son Jesus Christ shows us that his promises

are often kept in unexpected ways. How much more unexpected can you can than a helpless baby being the saviour of the world?

In the gospel of John it says,

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NRSV)

In Jesus, God fulfils his promise of a saviour, of God being with us. God’s love is never ending. It knows no human bounds. God is not limited by our frail comprehension. Love isn’t just an abstract idea or fuzzy feeling. Love is action. Love is forgiving, persevering, and enduring. Love is promises fulfilled. Jesus is Love.

My christmas prayer is that we might all Open our hearts and spirits today to receive with great joy, the love God has for for us that we might love others unashamedly.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12

 

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PS:  I am anticipating Christmas and a chance to savour it with family and friends so much this year and even have a couple of days off! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays friends! Stay safe (stay warm in the northern hemisphere and cool in the southern) and have a great time! It’ll be a little quiet around here for a few days!

Anna Blanch Rabe
anna@annablanchrabe.com
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