…from glory to glory

What Can I Give the Lord Jesus?

tower of the flock

Merry Christmas to everyone!

 I am writing this on a fairly mild evening here in our metro DC area. God has been abundantly kind to us thus far this season as far as the weather goes. The mercies of milder weather make recovering from some strain of the flu which my vaccine did not cover a little less dismal. Praying you are not having to deal with the same health problems…

The highlights of our year have been the extravagant grace and mercies of God in all our experiences—the pleasant and the painful—quite exotic, actually. I’m writing stream of conscious as I relate to you what we have experienced this year. We both have enjoyed the eyesight to behold the beauty of the earth in creation—even in its fallen condition for the moment and eyesight to behold it. Each season previous to this one has yielded its own kind of beauty, from springtime blossoms to autumn gold; and we are blessed to be living in a particularly lovely area of the country. Our neighborhood is a perfect place for daily walks, sheltered and scenic—an oasis in an urbanized suburb. I have retained my hearing to enjoy the sounds of birdsong high in the oaks in our neighborhood even as late as early December. Edward has lost a major portion of his hearing, so his ability to train his ears to hear birds is challenged. Every now and then, however, he picks it up—especially if we are sitting on the patio on a summer evening before sundown when all the birds are having their last songfest before nightfall. I would say that having a relative degree of good health in our golden years is a great blessing. To be sure, it’s not nearly the health we formerly enjoyed; we have our treasures in earthen vessels, and our vessels are aging as would be expected. When we were younger, and when we watched our parents age and our elder siblings age, we knew one day we would most likely experience similar losses of vigor. Still, when it comes, it is natural to think more of the losses and grieve instead of looking to what God is giving in return and give thanks… With these kinds of limitations, I was wondering what is left for me to give in the years remaining… There are lots of Christmas carols with words that speak of bringing gifts to the Lord Jesus, but I found there is a song that more accurately sings of my Christmas devotion

Edward and I have been together for 45 years; and Edward celebrated his 75th birthday in November. I will be 67 in January, and have chronic weaknesses which not only keep me from being more obnoxious than I am already, but which tend to age me closer to Ed’s chronological and physical age. We do a lot of looking out for each other; thankfully, God has seen fit to protect us from both being unusually afflicted with something at the same time. We walk more slowly, we move more carefully, we think more carefully, we speak more carefully, we expect less of the world, trust God more, and value life and love more. We are thankful for another year of:

  • freedom from oppression; protection from dangers; safety and blessings when we come in and when we go out…
  • comforts of home and sufficient funds to cover ordinary and some unexpected expenditures…
  • daily joys of our covenant love as we age together and sufficient strength and abundant grace to accomplish what we need to do each day to stay clean, nourished, alert, engaged, informed, prayerful, thankful, compassionate, and human…
  • new connections with family we have missed, long-time friends, new friends, hugs and many kindnesses extended to us, gatherings of friends for shared hope, faith and activities…
  • the gifts of laughter and tears and prayers and music and courage and healing…
  • the Word of God for counsel, correction, comfort, assurance; the presence of God and the still, small voice of His Spirit to direct and counsel…
  • the experience of being changed more from glory to glory—another year closer to Messiah’s return…

In the meantime, we send our blessings to you. Have a lovely Christmas with all your family and friends.

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