“You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” (Psalm 16:11)
Our family loves to gather around the Christmas tree, attend the Christmas Eve service at church, and of course enjoy the family table, spread with all the traditional Christmas dishes. We occasionally like to come up with something new to add to our traditions.
Last year I decided that as my husband, David, read the Christmas Story (you know the scene from that chair in the corner beside the fireplace), we would add a little spice to the moment. I placed the Nativity pieces on the coffee table in no particular order. The rules were that as the Nativity story was read aloud and mentioned a piece of the manger scene, the parents would see who could grab that piece first, and then his or her child would place it on the mantle in its position.
As the game progressed, the competition became very evident. Pretty soon adults were jumping all around the coffee table, while their children were cheering them from the sides. David had to read the Christmas story louder and louder, and I was trying to save my precious Nativity pieces. My attempt at adding spice quickly went from cinnamon to cayenne pepper!
After all the commotion finally ended we looked up at the mantel to discover the precious scene had not only survived, it somehow looked more alive than it ever had. We took a moment to calm ourselves, and we thanked Jesus that His birthday brought us a chance to laugh and be joyful together. What a fun time we had.
I have decided that this will become one of our traditions (although admittedly, David said I’ll need to purchase a less sentimental Nativity set for the event). For our family, fullness of joy means laughter, and pleasures forever mean being in His presence as a family. David and I pray that each of you will experience laughter, fullness of joy, and pleasures forever in the right hand of Jesus this Christmas and in the coming year.
- Do you remember an event or tradition that went humorously different than planned?
- Can you find a reason to laugh when those times come, or do you let it ruin the moment?
- What are ways that you can make Jesus more alive and bring joy to your Christmas traditions?
- Pray, and thank Jesus that his presence brings pleasures and fullness of joy in your life every day.
Pam Brewer is the Women's Ministry Director at First Baptist Dallas, wife of David, Mom to Ben (Kristen) and Natalie (Paul), and Lolly to Sam, Ty, and Jesse. Pam is grateful to be on staff and serving the Lord in such a wonderful place and at such a critical time as this. If Pam is not at church, you can find her with her family or sitting on her back porch.