Dear Tabernacle Family,
This past week has been a week of early decorating for Christmas for me at both The Tab and at home. And what a fun time it has been! (said somewhat sarcastically) We flocked, lit and decorated about 15 trees, including a 12 foot and a 9 foot one. Every time I move I am still leaving a trail of flock-flakes behind me! ’Tis the season, right?!
But on the flip side, I love to come home in the evening and sit by the tree (in my over-decorated house) with a cup of coffee, my Yorkie on my lap, my girls and husband at my side on the big sectional couch, and feel that sense of a peaceful home. In the insanity and uncertainty in world around us today, those moments are to be prioritized, cherished, and intentionally remembered.
This year, I was struck by many Christmas poems by civil rights forerunner and minister, Howard Thurman. As we enter this season and all that is swirling around us, this particular poem has become a declaration to me:
“Christmas is the Season of Affirmation”
I affirm my faith in the little graces of life:
The urgency of growth, the strength of laughter,
the vitality of friendship.
I affirm my confidence in the dignity of man:
His fortitude in despair, his strength in weakness,
his love in hatred.
I affirm my joy in the experience of living:
The fragrance of nostalgia, the scattered moments of delight,
the exhilaration of danger.
I affirm my need of my fellows:
The offerings of faith, the gifts of variety,
the quality of difference.
I affirm my hunger for God:
The desire for fulfillment, the ache for understanding,
the sense of peace.
CHRISTMAS IS MY SEASON OF AFFIRMATION.
From The Mood of Christmas & Other Celebrations (1985)
In these affirmations, we see the priority of significant, common values in all our lives: the everyday special graces of life, the dignity of humankind, the experience of living, the need for fellowship, and our hunger for God.
The world today is warring against ALL of these values. There is a nefarious spirit that is roaring about, trying to rob us of the joys of life, the dignity and potential of every human life, our beautiful love of fellowship and gathering together, and the hunger for God that cannot be fulfilled with any other false substitute. May we not blame others for what this nefarious spirit is trying to accomplish. We must rise and take authority over that foul enemy, press in to the heart of God and the kingdom values that live within us!
The values of the kingdom of God are eternal and of the highest worth. In this season, let’s arise together and intentionally pursue these affirmations as a top priority! May heaven come and be made known in the most powerful, tangible way in our lives, our families, our church, our communities and nation!