“Can you reach up there and pull that box of Christmas things down?” I ask my husband. And the sister who lives with us is surprised because I don’t decorate voluntarily, these 6 Christmases since marrying and leaving the parents and having 2 babies. But this year is different because, this seventh Christmas is my first Advent, and this year we’re unwrapping the Names of Jesus.
In this day and age where retailers and Google are trying to rename the Christ Mass to ‘Day of the Family’, we need His Name more and more. Though really they’ve been doing it for years, putting an X next to the mas, and the one time I tried it, a teenager slack with my hand writing, Mum put me straight and said we couldn’t remove Christ from Christmas or it wasn’t. When Advent in the stores just means chocolate and beauty calendars.
And no matter that there’s theological debate around when He was born, December 25th is the day to remember. And there’s so much remembering to do, because His short life turned the world upside down, and He was and IS so much to so many. There’s so many of His Names to unwrap and ponder.
But it’s not just Christmas time to we need to unwrap those Names, because it’s not the only holiday we’ve messed up.
Just this week I turn around and Miss 4 has all her bunnies lined up on the buffet with a bouquet of flowers and tells me they are ready for Easter, and I know that I have some serious education to do with her.
And just the pondering alone has made it richer and us not yet in December, but tree decorated and waiting eagerly to start discovering these names, that I wrote on circles and we painted and glittered.
It’s often in the writing that we remember, and not just that but thinking how I’ll explain the Names to Miss 4 as we hang them on the tree; and glad for a guide that was written by another Sister in Christ, Asheritah Ciuciu, her too searching for deeper meaning in Christmas.
She started Unwrapping the Names of Jesus a few years ago and is sharing them with us in her devotional, discovering the wonder of Advent that’s not just about a chocolate a day, in a pop out calendar. You can start right now too, by downloading 3 free chapters, some colouring in ornaments and share this wonder with printable Christmas cards.
And if you love crafting, these simple curtain rings from our op-shop came up gorgeous with a coat of spray paint, a swirl of glue and dipped in glitter.
In our love of all things shiny, these Names bring us back to Truth.
Man of Sorrows; He can mourn with us because He felt deeply, He wept freely, He knew our pain. There’s healing in the tears that release physical built up toxins. He wept with His friends, and I think we’ve forgotten that art.
True Vine, a place to truly be grounded, nurtured, a place where in abiding we belong, and yet a place that goes through changing seasons, pruning and bearing fruit.
There are so many Names, each with a richness of its own. I’m inviting you to discover them this Christmas, and get excited again. Let’s make this Christmas a wonder full time.