Advent 2016

Count your blessings.

Abraham. Called to leave his country, all he knew to go to an unknown place. 

Abraham. Blessed to be the father of God’s people.
Daniel. Highly esteemed by God. (Daniel 10: 19)
Zechariah. God heard his prayer and blessed him with a son. (Luke 1:13)
Mary. Blessed and highly favored.
Advent is a season for blessing, giving gifts, showing how you care for others. It is also a season of forgetting. I tap my foot impatiently in the checkout line and hurry the loved one off the phone because I don’t have time. I wrap the gifts in a mad race to finish and hang the last of the stockings. There. One more thing I can check off my holiday list. These are the symptoms of Christmas amnesia. The forgetting of why I celebrate.
There’s only one thing to do to fight all this forgetting. I need to remember. Remember to count my blessings.

The blessing of hunters arriving home safely after a good hunt.

The blessing of a slow Saturday morning as the two of us sit toasty in blankets and drink our morning coffee.

The blessing of an ornament she brings to remind me of our silly tradition,
and chili simmering slow from the recipe I’m not allowed to tinker with.

The blessing as children gather for Sunday school,
and this young man who I chased as a toddler now teaching.

The blessing of a heart so full it just might burst. Because she was one of the middle schoolers in my first year of ministry. And here I kneel as she tears bread and whispers…the body of Christ shed for you


The one snuggled tight in Mary’s arms came to die…to be broken for our blessing. And we can’t grasp the blessing or give the blessing until we name them. 
So go ahead, number…count…name your blessings today and remember. Remember your story. How you came to know the one lying in the manger. Remember…you are blessed, esteemed, highly favored. Remember the blessings so you won’t forget the meaning of Christmas.
 Will you join me in the counting, maybe even share one? Take a photo or type you blessing right there in the comment box. I would love to hear your story!

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