• Beth Hildebrand

What I Really Want To Do This Christmas Season

Welcome to this little series I’m sharing here on my blog the next two weeks. It’s called “Our Savior and Shepherd” during this month of Christmas season. If you didn’t see yesterday’s post explaining a little bit about what this is all about, then go here to check it out here.

Each day, I encourage you to read the Bible verses I’m going to share at the beginning of each post. It’ll make what I have to say much easier to understand!

READ John 1:1-4, 14 & Psalm 23/ Emphasis on John 1:14 & Psalm 23:6

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  Psalm 23 

We’re now in one of the busiest and most stressful times of the years, but as believers I think we try to make time to stop, be still, enjoy sitting by the Christmas tree, and spend some time in the Word reflecting on the birth of Jesus.

On the craziest days, I just want to sit, be still and just stay there. Not go shopping, not wrap gifts, not stress over what to plan and prepare for the Christmas dinner menu, not be anxious to get everything done that needs to be done by December 24th (or earlier!) on top of the every-day responsibilities we have all year long! In other words, I just want to DWELL or stay in that place of stillness and resting in the presence of peace and the Prince of Peace. The definition of dwell from the dictionary.com is “to live or stay as a permanent resident; reside, or to linger.”

I’ve noticed that the word “dwell” is used quite a few times in the Bible (179 times in the NIV just FYI (: ).

Today’s verses both emphasize the essence to dwell – The Word (or Christ) dwelling with us (in John 1:14) and us dwelling in the house of the Lord, where Christ is (in Psalm 23:6).

Just think about that for a little bit of time. Christ desires to dwell with you and in you. He wants to linger and stay in your heart permanently, and he wants you to desire the same for himself. That was made possible when Jesus came as a baby and when he grew up and went back to heaven to be with his Father, he left the Holy Spirit to dwell in us.

Dallas Willard writes, that verse 6 in Psalm 23 (‘Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever’)…

“…is a description of the eternal life available to us now in the kingdom of the heavens; the abundant with-God life that comes from following the Shepherd where we dwell and abide with God in the fullness of his life – a life in which all the promises of Christ’s gospel are realized.  Because of this we have no reason to be anxious (Phil. 4:6-7).”

Does that kind of blow your mind a little like it does mine? I guess because that book by Dallas Willard doesn’t mention the Christmas story anywhere in his book.

Let’s dwell together in the “glory of the One and Only, full of grace and truth” and our good Shepherd as we begin this Monday, begin the week, begin this series, and begin this Christmas season.  Let us dwell on the truth that the Word, or God, became flesh this time 2,000+ years ago to give us the fullness of His life, and not to be anxious.  This Christmas season is to be a time of rest and joy!  Let us live out that truth this Christmas season!  Amen.

Is it easy or difficult for you to make time to dwell in the presence of God during the Christmas season?  Why?  What is your take home from today’s reflections? Feel free to share your thoughts and make a comment.

May you rest and dwell with Jesus this Christmas season,

Beth

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