Mzungu Memoirs

Archive for December, 2010

Treasure and Ponder

At a Bible study I have been attending with my mom, we just started a new study by Beth Moore called “Jesus The One And Only.”  It was very appropriate timing as the first week of this study explores in great detail the Christmas story progression from the angel’s appearance to Zechariah to the shepherd’s visitation of the baby Jesus.  It is a story that I have heard and studied many times, but something was different this time.  One little line really stood out for me:

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

— Luke 1, Verse 19

Beth Moore explains it this way:

The Greek word treasured up is suntereo, meaning “to preserve.”  The concept embodies the idea of keeping treasure preserved or safe, of holding it close.  The word for pondered is particularly wonderful.  Sumballo means “to throw or put together.”  It is the practice of casting many things together, combining them and considering them as one.

So, now that Christmas is over, what do we do with the anticipation that has seemingly been made complete with opening the last gift?  What do we do with all the energy we have now that we aren’t busy preparing for the perfect feast?  What do we do with the Hope, Peace, Joy and Love that we have been commemorating throughout the advent season?  What do we do with the “reason for the season” we are so apt to throw around?  Do we just go back to our daily lives and muddle through the “Post Holiday Blues” as best we can?

As for me, I think I’ve been doing a little more “treasuring” of my holiday anticipations and memories this year because I know next year’s Christmas season will be vastly different for us.  But if you really stop to think about it, every holiday season is different from the one before, with the addition or loss of family members, change in location or just changes of life in general.  And while some changes and difference are more dramatic than others, like our move to a foreign country, no two Christmases are ever the same.

So I challenge you to “preserve” your holiday memories and throw them together with the ones from years before and consider them as one.  Let us take the Hope, Peace, Joy and Love of the advent season into the New Year.  Let us take the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the true meaning of the season, out into the world.  I know I am sounding like a missionary here, but this is something we can all do.  You don’t have to move to a foreign country to find someone to share the love of Christ with.  You can probably find someone right down the street.  Just do it, and you will carry your holiday anticipations and memories throughout the year.

And that, my friends, is the best cure for the “Post Holiday Blues” I can think of.

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Light of the World

Heather has been writing the blog entries up to this point, but I (Robert) felt led to write one.

Last week, we all went to witness the annual tree lighting ceremony here in Cedar Park.  For the last 12 years, the city has installed over 50,000 lights on the largest live oak in the city for the holidays.  There were games for the kids, carriage rides, city dignitary speeches, a burning yule log and a very popular line to see Santa.

After a countdown, the 50,000 lights were turned on, illuminating the tree, piercing the darkness and shedding light on all of the people who came to witness the ceremony.  All of those lights made me think of the words of a Chris Tomlin song…

Light of the world
You stepped down into darkness.
Opened my eyes, let me see.
Beauty that made this heart adore You
Hope of a life spent with You

In John 12:46, Jesus said, “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.” Jesus is the illuminating victory over the darkness of death, partnering with God in writing the end of the story and giving us hope.

As you approach this Christmas season, busily decorating, hosting, going to parties, traveling, spending time with family and navigating all of the frenzy, I ask that you see those seasonal lights as a reminder of the Light of the world.  I pray that the lights remind you to bask in the Light, rest in the Light, share the Light and be the light.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matt 5:14-16

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Words of Action

There is a church reader board not far from our house that says “Thanksgiving is a word of action.”  Actually, the dictionary defines it as a noun.  It is “the act of giving thanks…especially to God.”  The dictionary also includes in it’s definition a reference to Thanksgiving Day, “a national holiday celebrated as a day of feasting and giving thanks for divine favors or goodness, observed on the fourth Thursday of November in the U.S.”

But I think I understand what the reader board is trying to say.  Thanksgiving is so much more than just “a day of feasting,” and I’m kind of glad.  Because where we will be next year at Thanksgiving, it isn’t a day at all.  But that’s okay.  I don’t need a turkey and dressing to have Thanksgiving.  All I need is a heart full of “giving thanks,” the words of action that I believe the reader board is referring to.

And I’ll tell ya, I’ve got a lot to give thanks for.  I give thanks for my wonderful husband who is leading us on this grand adventure we will be embarking on.  I give thanks for my sweet boy who fills my days with hugs and kisses.  I give thanks for my mother who has so graciously opened her home to us.  I give thanks to all our friends and family who have been so supportive of our decision to serve in God’s kingdom with eMi.  And I give all thanks to God, who has blessed us with this opportunity to serve Him.

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