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Christmas Is About Love

God invites us to Himself every year at Christmas.
By Barbara Rainey


Christmas is about Love.
For God is Love, unchanging, everlasting,
abounding, steadfast love that never ceases.
Love beyond comprehension, enduring forever.
He set His heart in love on me.
Great in love. Rich in kindness.
Rich in patience toward us.
Love never fails.

 

As a child, I delighted in every aspect of the holiday season—the music, the decorations, the gift-giving, and even the weather. Through my eyes, everything in our small Midwest town was touched by Christmas wonder, from the tidy homes with manger scenes on the lawns to schools, churches, and businesses displaying colorful lights and candles in their frosted windows. It was all magical.

With the first cold spell every October, I began to anticipate the transformation of the Christmas season to come. I couldn’t wait for it to arrive and I always wanted it to last forever.

As I grew up, my mother allowed me to take over more of the decorating and preparations at home. Perhaps she secretly enjoyed my eagerness, and the freedom it gave her to do other things. My festive creations spread from our simple tree and manger scene to boughs of greenery in the front hall and on the fireplace mantel, candles and Santas and ribbons on tabletops, a special floral arrangement on the dining room table, and of course, plates of our favorite cookies all cut in the shapes of snowmen, Santa Claus, angels, and stars, and sprinkled with red and green sugars. In my eyes, nothing our family did the rest of the year compared to our preparations for Christmas.

Looking back, I see that the wonderment of my childhood Christmases, and the longing I felt to keep it with me forever, was an invitation God was writing on my heart. He wanted me to experience something far greater than my present-tense life. There was so much more to discover about this babe in the manger and the love that had sent Him. Christmas really could last forever.

God was calling me every year at Christmas.

He still speaks and invites us to Himself. Such is the nature of God’s love. He is ever pursuing, and always ready to receive us.

Christmas is about love, because God is love.

Excerpted from When Christmas Came by Barbara Rainey. Copyright ©2008 Barbara Rainey. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission. Published by FamilyLife Publishing, Little Rock, AR

Looking for help or inspiration this Christmas?  Be sure to check out the FamilyLife Guide to Christmas.  Also, FamilyLife offers several resources to help your family focus on Christ during your Christmas celebration. The Ever Thine Home® Christmas collection includes ornaments and other decorations help you honor Christ and proclaim your faith.   The 12 Names of Christmas™ ornaments are designed to help you teach your children about Jesus is and why He came to live among us.  And in When Christmas Came, Barbara Rainey reveals the substance of Christmas in poignant prose and vivid watercolors.

FamilyLife is a donor-supported ministry offering practical and biblical resources and events to help you build a godly marriage and family.



Meet the Author: Barbara Rainey

Barbara Rainey is a wife, mother of six adult children (plus three sons-in-law and two daughters-in-law), and "Mimi" to nineteen grandchildren.

After graduating from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, Barbara joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ in 1971. Her husband, Dennis, whom she married in 1972, is the President of FamilyLife, a ministry of Cru that is headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Barbara has published articles on family-related topics and is the author of Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember and When Christmas Came.  She speaks at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® marriage conferences and is a frequent guest on FamilyLife Today®, a nationally syndicated, daily radio program.  She and Dennis are the coauthors of several books, including Growing a Spiritually Strong Family, Starting Your Marriage Right, Moments Together for Couples, The New Building Your Mate’s Self-Esteem, Parenting Today’s Adolescent, Rekindling the Romance, and Moments with You. She co-authored A Mother’s Legacy with her daughter, Ashley Rainey Escue and joined Dennis and their children Rebecca and Samuel on the book So You’re About To Be A Teenager. Barbara has also co-authored Barbara and Susan’s Guide to the Empty Nest, with close friend Susan Yates, and A Symphony in the Dark, written with her daughter, Rebecca Rainey Mutz. And Barbara has written a series focusing on character traits for families, including the titles Growing Together in Gratitude, Growing Together in Courage, Growing Together in Forgiveness, and Growing Together in Truth.

Having faithfully served alongside Dennis for more than 30 years, both in ministry and at home, Barbara has recently launched a new endeavor called Ever Thine Home™.  This new line of products, including Christ centered ornaments for Christmas, teaching tools for Lent and Easter, and beautiful additions for your home for thanksgiving and year round makes it easy to express faith at home in a way that is both biblical and beautiful.  Her heart for Ever Thine Home is based on the familiar Old Testament instruction:

“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:9, ESV)

You can read more about Barbara’s work at EverThineHome.com.




Find online at: 

   @BarbaraRainey     facebook.com/raineybarbara


 

 

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