Let’s see, in October we were carving pumpkins, in November Amy was picking out a 17 pound turkey of which we are still eating and now in December we removed and displayed from the attic most all of our dusty, Christmas decorations. Every family has their own routine and the DeLoaches are no different. Let’s see how we are doing on our holiday checklist:

  • Good old fashion Christmas tree lovingly selected from the thousands sold at Lowes.
  • Thought about constructing a ginger bread house, but remembered that the last time we made one I had eaten half of it by the next day.
  • Picked up pine needles from last year’s tree.
  • Baked hundreds of cookies and completed all shopping – okay, that one is not true, but we are committed to finishing up this year by the 23rd, 24th tops.
  • Had pictures made with Santa Clause. St. Nick, however, did complain a bit that I was a little too heavy to sit on his lap and insisted I sit beside him this time. It just wasn’t the same. The boys, of course, were nowhere to be found.

Well, that is what we have completed, or at least started. You should see the list that so far has no checks beside it. Staggering.

‘Tis the season to feel overwhelmed I suppose. Has it always been this way? In truth, yes. Think of Joseph and Mary. And then there is the tiny village of Bethlehem flooded with “immigrants” for the census. Can you imagine the shepherds out in the fields surrounded by a whole heavenly host? Overwhelmed.

As we sink beneath the flood of expectations and obligations and gasp for air think of those first participants in the Christmas story. They came to discover that they were overwhelmed, but by grace. May this season find us deluged by God’s presence. The lights, the gifts, and even the gingerbread will all pass away. But God remains with us and for us.

“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” (NRS Matthew 1:23)

Grace and Peace,
Greg DeLoach

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