I have been feeling God moving lately . . . stirring things up in my own heart as well as in others around me. I'm not sure if many of my readers are getting anything out of the posts I have been doing since the beginning of December, but I feel an urging to keep going and to see it through to the end. In the midst of this season in particular, it can be so easy (especially for those of us creative types who blog) to get completely wrapped up in the trimmings and the trappings and the tablescapes and home decor that the meaning of the season just slips right through our fingers.
I don't want to wake up on December 25th surprised that it's Christmas Day. I don't want that to be the only day that I meditate on what this is all really about.
How many of us will come to that point, after all the busy-ness and frantic gift buying and wrapping and fruitcakes and parties, and think to ourselves: "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it"?
Jacob’s Dream at Bethel10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it[a] stood the LORD, and he said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.[b] 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”
18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel,[c] though the city used to be called Luz.
20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the LORD[d] will be my God 22 and[e] this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”
P.S. Please know that if you are a person who blogs about holiday decor and things of that nature (or enjoys reading about it), I'm not calling you out or trying to give anyone the business. I, too, feel that so much of the tradition of decorating our homes is wonderful and helps bring the spirit of the season into our hearts and minds (I've got my own collection of festive jazz I get excited to bring out each year just like y'all - - and if you follow me on Pinterest you know I'm always pinning lovely ideas for decor). I'm just turning over the other side of this holiday coin in the hope that His spirit and this message of Hope will resonate in our hearts no matter who we are, whether we blog or not, and wherever we are in our lives.
**The scripture references I used for the Jesse Tree can all be found for free via the Reformed Church in America RIGHT HERE.**