Monday, December 20, 2010

the thrill of hope...

What? No more Christmas party posts (I'm sure you're asking yourself)? Don't worry, there's more coming...
Christmas parties 8 - a super fun girly favorite-thing-under-$10 White Elephant gift exchange,
9 - a Christmas wine tasting (drinking wine out of paper bags...funny!),
10 - a fabulous Christmas brunch hosted by Lindsay (who tells me she's starting a recipe blog...I'm anxiously awaiting, cause this girl is GOOD),
11 - co-worker Jenn's (+ husband Jason) annual Christmas party, and finally...
12 - friend, E's annual Christmas party
[Pictures to come, but I left my camera in Suwanee (at the wine-tasting partay). Oops.]

Guess it's good timing, tho, because after yesterday, it all seems so trivial. Amidst all the commercialized Christmas and holiday craziness, it's so easy to get caught up. Shopping, celebrating, decorating, cooking, etc. We've had a fun two weeks, but there's so much more to the story. Our pastor, Andy, delivered the most simple message yesterday. Starting with this...

And ending with this...Luke's account of the story of Jesus. Not based on faith, but based on actual events that happened in our midsts.

1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught...

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her...

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Thank you, Jesus. This Christmas, we can celebrate JOY. Because a baby came and everything changed. The thrill of hope, as our weary world rejoices. Merry Christmas!