The kids have Adore Him playing and they’re singing along and off key.
And the house wafts of sugar cookies and anticipation and names of neighbors to bless!
“You done drawing now, Mama?”
Kai’s leaning hard over my shoulder. “Can we just call it done?” And I’m thinking so, and we cut out this little hand drawn cookie envelope template. Shalom and Levi have angel and nativity cookie cutters all over the table.
And Kai cuts out these envelopes for each cookie. And Shalom slides in cookies shaped like angels and stars and a wee silhouette of that God-Baby Who came to the manger & the Cross & offers Himself as a Savior for the world — and who doesn’t need the gift of Him most, again and again?
It’s written right there on the liner for every cookie envelope:
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son,
and they will call Him
which means “God with us” ”
God with us — is the only comfort for the wounds within us.
Kai looks up from his cutting out of the verse — “Mom? God really came, didn’t He?”
And I nod — He came.
He gave up the heavens who were not even large enough to contain Him and lets Himself be held in a hand.
He forsook the boundlessness of space and confined Himself to skin and He gave up the starfields and took on shape and wore the bones.
He gave up the River of the water of Life that flows from His Throne Room to float the nine months on the amniotic waters. And He who carved the edges of the Cosmos, He curved Himself into fetal ball in the dark, tethered Himself to the uterine wall of a virgin, and lets His cells divide, light all splitting white.
The mystery so large becomes the baby so small and infinite God becomes infant.
“Yeah, Kai,” I fold one of the cookie templates, “The story of Christmas is about a baby who came — for the greatest give-away ever. To be the Gift.”
This is what I tell the kids making up Christmas packages for the neighbors — He came, love come down.
Love that gave — but not to those who loved Him.
Love that gave — but not to those who could give back.
Love that gave — to those who were the poor, the bankrupt, the enemies.
Love that gave even to the likes of us. “And I don’t know… ” I am telling the story again now to me.
“Who will give away, and with their lives? Why is the world hungry when God’s people have bread? Are bread? What is there more to be in this life than to be bread for another man?”
And Hope looks up from the oven. “Remember, Mama?” She turns off the timer. “We’re calling Christmas the Greatest Give-Aways — and Jesus is the Gift!”
Jesus is the Gift and we keep giving Him away, down the road and around the corner and the world — He is the best Christmas to give — because when we share Christ, we most have Him.
And on the backside of that little verse liner, we write a Christmas note to our neighbors and tape up the back of the little cookie envelope — and tuck The Greatest Gift cookie envelope in with a little love-something for the neighbors — a hot chocolate mix, a bag of coffee, a good book, a little candle, a loaf of bread.
“Look at how many cookies we have got done now!” Kai grins from the table. And Shalom, she counts a bit giddy, this giving away that gives the Great Gift…
And this Christmas story to listen to while making up cookies? I’ll pass down the cup of hot apple cider….
Advent Week 1: The Video Devotional for the First Sunday of Advent: Hope
Advent Week 2: The Video Devotional for the Second Sunday of Advent: Peace
Advent Week 3: The Video Devotional for the Third Sunday of Advent: Joy
Video Devotional: How to Have the Best Christmas
Christmas at the Farm with Lizzie (Liz Curtis Higgs) and Annie
The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas
Wonders of His Love Ornament
Gifts that gives a thousand gifts: