November has arrived, which means I’m thinking about Christmas. This year will be James first Christmas, which may be one of the most exciting things I can think of, and as the excitement of the season draws nearer, my heart desires more and more that my son understand Christmas (and everything else we celebrate). Yes, I realize he will only be seven months but what we establish as tradition now will more than likely be what we continue when he is thirteen.
I take very seriously the instruction of Deuteronomy 6, and this season of holidays provides ample opportunity to evoke within my son the question, “why?”. Children inevitably ask the question “why?”, and they ask it at every opportunity. It’s a beautiful question, really. As adults we should ask it more; we would be far more aware of our frivolous nature if we were to step back and ask “why am I doing this?”. Having a son affords me the opportunity to asses our life as a family and ask, “why do we do this?” I want our life to be purposeful, and free of mindless ritual. I want to have tradition that evokes, “why?” and I want to have an intentional answer. I want my son to ask:
Why do we pray?
Why do we go to church?
Why do we read the bible?
Why do we celebrate Christmas?
Why do we give one another gifts?
Why do we buy gifts for children and families we don’t know?
And ultimately I want to answer: our Creator gave us the most gracious gift, he sent his son, whom he loved with a love greater than we can imagine, to take our place, to rescue and bring us back to himself. God gave us life. That’s what we celebrate, and that is what we remember.
May the questions of children remind us to think on this wonderful truth, and may our hearts be filled with the joy of knowing it.
As today is November 1st, I’ll be taking a month long sabbatical from posting to work on my novella. We’ll see if it turns out post worthy. So, until December, 1st, farewell.