I guess it started on Friday when my brother from Wisconsin arrived and said that they had four inches of snow on the ground. Yesterday afternoon two people looked out my office window and said, “It’s snowing.” In between I received a picture of Houghton Lake from a friend and, you guessed it, the landscape was covered with white. Then, this morning as I ran, more of the same.

So, I think it’s fully appropriate that this week I am also spending some time piecing together our worship services for Advent and Christmas. For you it may be the movies on the Hallmark channel or dreaming of the gifts you might receive. Or maybe it’s hearing the music on the radio or getting the front lawn all decorated. But for me, the Christmas spirit first starts to perk as I work on these worship services.

And I am really excited about what will be happening this year. Every Sunday morning in December will be used to tell the story leading up to Christmas … first for Mary, then for Joseph, and finally for us. The theme will be CHRISTMAS PREPARATIONS: God had something BIGGER in mind. Wednesdays – which will include a video devotion sent to you – will tie our prayer “thy kingdom come” to a theme of COME LORD JESUS.

Wow – all of a sudden the snow that I see falling outside my window this morning looks beautiful … and life itself is filled with an expectant peace and joyful hope!

Of course, it is not escaping reality through music, movies or dreams that changes things … or even those flurries in the air. Rather, it is living in the reality of the Christmas message: “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So, you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4.4-7)

Life is a lot like the winter snows. Sometimes it beautiful … like on a Christmas Eve when the lawns are white, and sidewalks and streets are dry. Other times it’s scary … like when the wind is whipping it across our pathways and into our faces. It all depends upon one’s perspective (I know many people who love the storms). Yet, when one thinks about all of the good that takes place over the winter (like renewing our lakes, resting the land, and removing the bugs), we are able to see how God is graciously and lovingly in control through it all … building within us a faith that produces that expectant peace and joyful hope … even through the worst of storms.

So, yes, bring it on … snow and cold, storms and sunshine, because it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … we who were under the law are redeemed and are no longer slaves, but heirs!

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot …