Walking by Faith Alone

Archive for December 24th, 2011

I’ll be home for Christmas…

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The words rang from my lips as harmoniously as the song, although its been 23 years. “Mom, can we come home for Christmas this year?”

I grew up in a small town called Dublin, Georgia, just off I16 south of Macon. Dublin has grown so much since I lived here, it is hard to say “small” and be honest. My parents own a two-story brick house built in the early 1900s. It wasn’t my first home but I spent the majority of my childhood here. Everything about this house is “home-made” from the needlepoint ornaments that adorn the tree to the 100-year-old mantel clock which chimes throughout the night, this is a place for dreams.

As I stood in the shower waiting for the icy well water to turn warm, I thought of Christmases past. Twenty teenagers roasting marshmallows over a fire my Dad built; horses in the field; my brother shooting squirrels; my sister in curlers; my grandmother sewing; my Dad singing; and my Mom holding us all together.

Last week I heard a sermon by Pastor Mike Franklin of The Torch. If you ever have the opportunity to hear him speak, he is phenomenal. His sermons penetrate your heart so that the entire week his message is heard. He talked about Christmas being the “beginning.” We often see the season as “the end” of the year – a closing of sorts.

Life is a series of starts and restarts – beginnings and endings. The last Christmas I spent in Dublin was the first Christmas for my daughter Collier. Her Dad and I had been married 3 years and he was studying medicine at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. This Christmas is my first “unmarried” in a long time, and I came home.

Even God started over. As funny as it sounds, its true. I imagine the difficulty of throwing an arch angel and 1/3 of his followers out of heaven; of removing Adam and Eve from the garden; of destroying His creation in the flood, but He started again. So many of us find ourselves in situations of loss and despair. We think we failed or someone failed us. We don’t see how anything could ever be the same. Could we possibly start again?

When God came to earth in the form of man, to walk among us as prophesied, He came to start again. To give a world hope. He came to give us eternity with Him. He came to bring us home.

Whatever situation life finds you today, you can start again. Loss is a part of living. Gratitude is as well. The only way to finish a book is to move to the next chapter. Too many of us want to continue to reread the same chapter or go back to the beginning. The message of Christmas is about rebirth, starting a new, fresh and eager to serve Him. It’s about finding a way in a trouble world. You are not stuck in your circumstances. And Christmas is the reason you can “begin again.”

I wish you all a New Beginning this Christmas – a fresh start to get it right.

“Do not be afraid; for behold I bring you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, Christ the Lord.”

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

December 24, 2011 at 3:11 pm