Archive for December, 2018

A Funny Thing Happened on the way to Christmas

By Kathy NickersonDecember 10th, 2018mercyNo Comments

My kind, thoughtful husband told our friends recently that he was worried about me because I hadn’t even put up our Christmas tree this year.

The tree has been lit for two weeks.

In fairness, here are some things to consider:

1. He doesn’t care a great deal about decorating, but he cares a bunch about me, and he knows how I love the sparkle.

2. Our life is in a major transition, and small details like Christmas are actually in danger of being ignored. Overshadowed by where we shall live and work in our next season.

3. Days are a bit draining as we prepare to close the clinic we’ve loved for sixteen years. We are both tired and distracted when we get home at night.

All that considered, here is the funniest part: I plopped down on my favorite side of the sofa the next night and pointed at the little tree glowing from a corner of the dining room. “How could you miss that pretty sight?” I asked.

My patient husband raised an eyebrow, looked toward the dining room from his vantage point and said, “I can’t see a thing.”

Sure enough. The tree is completely blocked from his line of sight. I felt like a jerk for making fun of him. And, a few mornings later, I added lights to a small tree in the living room right in front of his spot. 

I tell you this story, Dear Reader, because I want you to remember what matters. Every year, when I put up even the tiniest tree with twinkling lights, I feel like I’m fighting back the darkness of life just a smidgen. I’m declaring to the world that the Light has come and that He is coming again. My faithful husband understands this. He was fighting for me.

So, light your tree. Hold onto Hope. Snuggle the ones you love. And spread the great news of Peace on earth, Goodwill to men. Hallelujah. 

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A Christmas Tag Line You May Have Missed

By Kathy NickersonDecember 3rd, 2018mercy1 Comment

So many famous phrases come from the original Christmas Story in the Bible. You can probably quote lots of them. One of my favorites, though, doesn’t show up on the traditional Christmas card.

It happened a year or so before Jesus was born. We don’t know the exact date. Zechariah, a small town priest, was taking his once-in-a-lifetime turn offering prayers to God in the holiest spot in the Temple.

As usually happens, God flashed in at the most unexpected moment. He sent Gabriel, one of His lead angels, to have a little chat with Zechariah. Gabriel told Zechariah that his wife would have a baby who would prepare the way for the coming Messiah.

Now, Zechariah’s wife Elizabeth was old. And barren. A true curse for a woman in those days. So, Zechariah responded in the way humans have been responding since the Garden of Eden.

“How can I be sure about that?”

I love to picture the next scene. Gabriel is not a cherub from your Hallmark Valentine’s Day card. He is the Chuck Norris of angels. I imagine Gabriel straightening his shoulders and lifting his chin above Zechariah’s head. Gabriel’s folded wings rise out to a span that fills the room. (Can you hear them rustle?)

Then, in a voice that rumbles like Sean Connery, he says, “I am Gabriel, and I stand in the presence of God.”

Nuff said.

Gabriel goes ahead and gives a bit of explanation. But his opening line is enough to silence Zechariah until the promised baby is born. It’s as if Gabriel looked at the little, old priest, considered his question, and then said, “Duh.”

Every time I’m faced with the impossible (or the unlikely) I remind myself to Believe God. Not just believe what He said, but to believe Who He is. Gabriel reminds me of that. I hope He will remind you, too.

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