New to Refiner’s Fire? I encourage you to read the FORWARD.
What is the Christmas season like for you?
Is it a time you look forward to or is it a time you dread?
A time of anticipation – this first tree is from my childhood, it was a time of joy. I loved the traditions of my childhood. Christmas Eve was a Swedish Smorgasbord and the opening of gifts. My sister and I would get to sleep with grandma. The only night of the year we were allowed to sleep in the “front bedroom.” Then everyone was up before 6 to get to church for Julotta. Christmas day everyone returned for a big feast. As a child the anticipation was for the entire celebration.
A time of challenge – the second tree is the last tree Joe and I have had, it was 2012. It is a reminder of all the challenges of life which have changed my anticipated traditions of childhood. All of the changes, the challenges, which surround Christmas work as a Refiners Fire in my life.
It is a good reminder to me not to cling to traditions (I have had a difficult time letting go of the traditions) but to cling to the Triune God – HE NEVER CHANGES!
It is so easy to get caught up in the warm fuzzies of Christmas – which is really a false reality of Christmas. Jesus, fully God and fully man, was born in a manger. Not exactly the grandest place for a King to be born.
Where Else Would A Lamb Be Born? Steve Amerson
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (ESV)
This baby came to live a difficult life –
“I have a baptism to be baptized with,
and how great is my distress until it is accomplished!”
Below is an excerpt from John Calvin’s commentary on Isaiah 9:6 I encourage you to read the full commentary on the verse here Isaiah 9:6 scroll down to verse 6.
“Now, to apply this for our own instruction, whenever any distrust arises, and all means of escape are taken away from us, whenever, in short, it appears to us that everything is in a ruinous condition, let us recall to our remembrance that Christ is called Wonderful, because he has inconceivable methods of assisting us, and because his power is far beyond what we are able to conceive. When we need counsel, let us remember that he is the Counsellor. When we need strength, let us remember that he is Mighty and Strong. When new terrors spring up suddenly every instant, and when many deaths threaten us from various quarters, let us rely on that eternity of which he is with good reason called the Father, and by the same comfort let us learn to soothe all temporal distresses. When we are inwardly tossed by various tempests, and when Satan attempts to disturb our consciences, let us remember that Christ is The Prince of Peace, and that it is easy for him quickly to allay all our uneasy feelings. Thus will these titles confirm us more and more in the faith of Christ, and fortify us against Satan and against hell itself.”
The other day I was scrolling through all of the Coffee Chat Assignments and I was again reminded of the amazing love of the Triune God. He has provided His wisdom in His Word for us to feast on. It is in Him I place my hope
Scroll through the Coffee Chat Assignments and see if God has a word to minister to you in one of the scriptures, sermons, songs or stories.
Next page: God Continues to Provide Strength