This was the first one-it is amazing- they must own every blow up lawn decoration ever made. And the front porch is full of every annoying singing Christmas toy ever made.
This was the third house we saw- it has been featured on TLC. The guy broadcasts on his own radio station and syncronizes the lights with the music. Over the top.
It was so cold- we drove home and snuggled up by the fire and read our Jesse tree devotion- and sang Christmas carols, our hearts warmed as we sang of the child born in a manger, the child foretold and long awaited by a people who desperately longed for someone to save them. How they must have daily yearned-looking forward to his coming- like Simeon in the temple-who knew he would see the Messiah before he died. When Jesus was brought to the temple he cried out:
“Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;
For my eyes have seen Your salvation
What tears of joy must have coursed down his wrinkled cheeks! How his heart must have nearly burst with joy, pure joy, at seeing the promised one. It says "he took him up in his arms and blessed God, "(v28) and said those words above. Can you see him reaching eagerly for the tiny baby boy, the Consolation of Israel, Emmanuel, God with us! He knew the verses from Isaiah. He knew that somehow this child would drink the full cup of God's wrath, and He, Simeon, would receive mercy. Jesus did what we could not do for ourselves. "For our sake he made him to be sin, who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."(2 Cor. 5:21) We are no longer enemies of God. He comforts us. His mercy is poured out on us. It is too wonderful to be believed! The extravagance of it should make us tremble as Simeon probably did, from joy, just heartwrenching joy. This is why my heart is full to bursting at Christmas- not just the beauty of the story, but that somehow I have been woven into this story- this scandalous, extravagant, beautiful story with a happy, happy ending. "Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed."(Psalm 85:10)
1 And in that day you will say:
“O LORD, I will praise You;
Though You were angry with me,
Your anger is turned away,
and You comfort me."
Sing, O heavens!
Be joyful, O earth!
And break out in singing, O mountains!
For the LORD has comforted His people,
And will have mercy on His afflicted.