Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas was God declaring war on the World

"Adoration of the Shepherds"
by Rembrandt
I've been very blessed to hear some amazing Christmas sermons this year.

Luke 1:26-33

"Fruitfulness comes by walking in the light and pursuing righteousness in the dark."

This one came at just the right time.
I don't really know why, but I've had a harder time getting excited about Christmas this year.
I was feeling pretty irritated (feeling irritated is not a way to fix it...just so you know) about the feeling when Mama and I went Christmas shopping over a week ago. I couldn't even find anything I wanted to buy (this is normally not a problem:-).
Several hours after we got home I realized part of the reason why...I'd caught the great church plague. :-P
After that was over (nearly a week latter) things were improved, but I've still been in a Christmas blah.
I don't know why exactly, but this pretty much fixed my problem. I think I was basically just being a jerk and than over analyzing it.
It's okay that every Christmas is different and just because it's Christmas doesn't mean our problems will disappear.

Plus, Pastor Tuuri read some Bob Dylan lyrics in the sermon. I love it when he does that. Score!

The Messiah in Isaiah (Part 4) by Greg Strawbridge
Isaiah 7
This sermon detailed more of what is going on during the famous Immanuel prophesy.

Besides the fact that I've been in love with Isaiah all year, this was also a convicting sermon for me.
Where do I turn to in trouble?

Joy to the World by Doug Wilson
1 Peter 1:6-9

Recently I've been studying and memorizing 1-2 Peter. I didn't even know the text when I turned this sermon on, but it made me really excited when I found out. :-)

This sermon really hit the nail on the head when it comes to the way we try to celebrate Christmas and how dumb it often is. I was trying to fold laundry while I was listening to it. I didn't get much done because I had to keep taking notes. This is one I really want to listen to again.

He really redirects back to the real essence of Christ's birth and what it has changed.

Here are a few notes I scribbled that really made an impression on me-

"The peace f God is our armor. It's not something we have to protect. Is the things that protects us."

"Peace is not the Gospel itself it is the result of the Gospel."

"Christmas is God's D-Day...the thunder of Heaven's guns."

"Sentimentalism is a pacifist...trying to celebrate the effect of Christmas without the story."

"True joy is fundementally realistic."

"The Magnificat is a declaration of war."

I found the whole sermon intoxicatingly joyful.

I'm very thankful God put this in my way!

General Christmasness

On Wednesday one of my brothers took me to downtown Portland, which was amazing. Even with all it's problems, I just love Portland so much! And even though we didn't go to Powell's it's near presence refreshed my spirit. ;-)
I also love my brother. He's pretty awesome. ;-)

Last night Mama and I were able to go to a beautiful Messiah performance. It was wonderful...of course. :-)
I also finally allowed myself to start another Chaim Potok novel. Happiness!!!!

Other recent Christmas activities include seeing Tangled, going out to eat, watching movies while wrapping presents, being ill, squeezing reading time in, receiving truck loads of Amazon packages, working on Christmas presents (mwhahaha), wonderful mail and Christmas cards, seeing lots family and friends, eating very unhealthily, listening to lots of music, and....very little writing. :-P There will be a schedule again though...Right? :-)

I have had the most amazing year. I am so grateful!!!!!

Christmas has been a flurry this last week and now I'm looking forward to the actual celebration of it all...which should include some relaxing time with good friends and family, good conversation, good food, good presents :-) and all beautiful Christmasified house!

But most of all, a celebration of victory. Christ came to save his people from their sins. To wage war (and to win!) against death. What more do we need to be joyful? What more do we need for such a clear mission?
There is so much to do and to learn!
Sometimes I feel quite hopeless...but only because there is such an wonderful, perfect, un-understandable, complex yet beautifully simple hope!

Have a very blessed and amazing Christmas. :-)
Many of you are in my prayers. I know I'll being seeing some of you soon.
Christmas!!!!! Yippee!

Thanks for reading,
Miss Pickwickian

(Sorry this was a long rambling post. If you got to the end know that I am extremely grateful. :-)


The Director said...

Since you pretty much said it all, I'll just say Merry Christmas and give you a hug. *hugs*

Love ya and Merry Christmas!!!!

dura mater said...

I got to the end, and enjoyed every minute of it! Now, to listen to those sermons while I shovel post-Christmas mess up! BTW, I LOVE my Christmas-present-short-story you gave me. Stayed up way too late last night finishing it!

Happy Homemaker said...

You gave her a story??!! *green with envy*
I got to the end! I really like your longer posts.

Happy New Year!

Miss Pickwickian said...

Thanks guys! :-)