First the Photo: The wonder of the Christmas season knows no specific place. Every town has its share of touching holiday displays. It is so amazing to drive through the neighborhoods in a hushed car and enjoy the holiday lights before coming home to hot cocoa and Christmas cookies. However, this image is taken of a chapel that is a reproduction of one in Germany. It is lite year round at the largest Christmas store in the Nation. (or so they advertise) Can you guess the name of the town or the store?
Second The Question: Christmas is a time of journeys..Some begun by a message sent from an angel urging Mary on a path that would change the world forever. Or others that started with the Wise Men, venturing off into the blackness searching for an elusive star that they hoped would guide them to a ruler of men. We are all on a journey every day. Sometimes our journey is from dark to light. Sometimes we start new friendships. Sometimes we embark on learning new skills or sometimes we grow our family. Many times we are pulled along our path, not wanting to follow a road of challenge or strife. Do you remember the last journey you embarked upon? Can you imagine wondering through the dessert in search of a promised child, led by a message you received in a dream? What would be your response if you were 9 months pregnant and you were told to pack up, perch yourself on a donkey and travel to a bustling city, with no money, away from your family and friends, to register for taxes? Would you go? What feelings would you have? Can you imagine a time when you are stripped bare of every luxury that provides you comfort? You don’t have warmth, a bed, food, medical care, or security? Can you think of a time when you were journeying and you were lost or your plans fell through? Sometimes when all of the expect things are far from reach you open yourself up to wonder. Imagine Mary getting ready for the birth of her baby, when nothing is certain, sometimes EVERYTHNG becomes possible. We open ourselves to the wonder of things falling into place, or of strangers offering comfort. We then glory in amazement of the simple things: health, kindness, safety and being together.
Third Next Steps: Become intentional about sharing this holiday season. Gather many slips of paper and write on them messages like: Share your favorite holiday tradition, Share a memory from seasons past, Describe the holiday keepsake that has the most meaning to you, What is your favorite food of Christmas, Where would you be on Christmas morning if you could choose, Who would you bring back to sit around the table with us one more time this year, Which was your favorite Holiday Season, How old were you when you received a gift you still remember, What has been your favorite holiday play or concert you have seen, What do you dream about on Christmas Eve night, What is your favorite weather for the Holidays, What is your favorite holiday movie, What is your favorite Christmas Carol? Add more questions and spend some time gathered around the tree picking slips from the jar and sharing of yourselves this holiday season. Keep replacing the slips back into the jar so that everyone from, youngest to oldest, gets a chance to share their special memories of the Christmas Season.
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