Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas 2006

The Verdict
This was a good Christmas, although I think it still could have been better. I wish we had been able to relax more this past month, focus on advent (for our advent wreath never made it out of the box), do more for others, and make more homemade gifts. I have vowed that next year, my Christmas cards and shopping will be done by 12/10. I'm aiming for November, but hubs thinks my deadline should be 12/10 to get some of those post-Thanksgiving sales. We'll see. Really... as Christmas nears, I want to be making goodies, making gifts, visiting with family and friends, going to concerts and holiday events... making memories, not "scheduling" a shopping trip to finish up, and not "scheduling" evenings to wrap presents.

However, once Christmas eve and Christmas day came, our celebrations were joyful and peaceful. Our Christmas morning devotional time was very nice. Hubs and I had a great time Christmas morning together. Our family events were just...really nice. Often I leave with one thing to complain about or another, and this year... not really. It was just a lovely, peaceful time. (Or maybe...just maybe...those things were all there and I am changing enough that I just didn't bother complaining about them. Hmmm.)

Reflection
God has been asking me to wait for children, and while I've struggled to appreciate or enjoy the wait, I do appreciate that I have time to learn from others and form opinions about child-rearing before I get there.

I spent a bit of time this weekend thinking about teaching theology to kids. My nephew (age 3), kept saying it was God's birthday. This disturbed my soul - I couldn't laugh about it like the others. He sat on my lap and I told him it was Jesus' birthday, not God's, for God has no beginning or no end. I thought about this further, I decided that I don't like it when the focus is on Christmas as Jesus' birthday either. I think this cheapens it. It is SO much more than a birthday. The BIG deal isn't that it's Jesus' birthday. The BIG deal is that it's the anniversary of when God became man in order to fulfill His plan for our salvation. Emmanuel - God with us, God Incarnate - God became man.... these should be our celebration. It's so much more than a birthday party.

Hubs and I discussed this on Christmas eve, and we spent our Christmas morning devotion time talking about how we were so grateful, not just for the birth of Christ, but for God as man, for God with us, for God's plan of salvation fulfilled in this infant child. (Aside... I tried to teach the nephew to say "God Incarnate" and got a bit roll of the eyes from everyone because apparently a three year old is too young to say in-car-nut.)

I grew up in a church that did not teach theology. It was emotions-based, as are so many other churches in the evangelical Church in the US today. We didn't learn what we believed and why. It is just about how worship makes you feel, how your faith makes you feel, what God does for you. I've spent the last 5 years trying to un-do some of that teaching and am learning for the first time what I believe and why. I've learned that kernels of un-truth can be very destructive. When I have children, I want to be intentional that the kernels planted in them are truth, so they are given every advantage for truth to grow on truth.

Is it really too much to teach a three year old to say in-car-nut, and teach him what it means? Why do we not attempt it?

1 comment:

Kim said...

LOVE THIS, KEL! I am not perfect at this but we have also tried to refocus this with our kids... not the cutesy Jesus's Birthday stuff but that was are taking time to celebrate Immanuel-- God with US!
LOVE your thoughts. And in God's time, I'm sure you will make a great mom! I miss the times I had to just take care of my beloved, but I know how hard it is to be patient too.