Holiday traditions - remembering and returning
Miguel, an enthusiastic and creative chef certainly hosted for us an exceptional Thanksgiving feast. Every dish was exquisite from Lamb basted in raspberries, to quinoa baked with cheese and potatoes, and bell peppers with anchovies. There was more than we could eat and certainly a learning experience for all of us. If you have not read his Thanksgiving post, do so. We have much for which to be thankful and I certainly am thankful for the opportunity to share my kitchen with my sons who enjoy being together and trying new things. Next year - who knows who will host it. Thanks, Miguel. I know it's not easy using someone else's kitchen. You did great!
We had Novali here for the weekend and a wonderful family tradition was brought back with her eager particicpation. When the children were younger and stayed home more we always decorated the tree together and then sat with freshly baked cut-out cookies and hot choclate while we contemplated our tree - never perfect, but always beautiful. We carefully unwrapped the pieces of the Nativity and reviewed the part each character played in the story of our Savior's birth. It was a delight to watch Novali's intensity as she helped trim the tree and then as she eagerly listened to the Christmas story. (Earlier we had prepared the cookies) She gently placed each piece in the stable as we talked about the birth of Jesus. A night I'll never forget, nor do I think she will. (I need to learn how to post pictures to this blog, because the pictures we took of that night are so precious.)
This morning as I contemplated all that has occurred this weekend, I picked up my Bible for my morning devoations. I have been reading through the book of Isaiah and my place this morning was chapter 44. Verses 21and 22 gave me much to think about:
"Remember these things,O Jacob, for you are my servant, O Israel. I have made you, you are my servant, O Israel, I will not forget you. I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you."
In these two verses are four things God has done for us: he has made us, he has swept away our offenses, he has redeemed us and he says he will not forget us. Wow! He asks of us only two things: to remember and to return. He asks us first to remember and then he reminds us of what he has done - in fact most of the previous chapter are specific memories of God's great deeds for the Israelites - Certainly if we remember what great things God has done in history and in our own lives, how can not but return to Him in praise and worship? Traditions such as Thanksgiving and Christmas are ocassions in which we remember and in our remembering we return to His side. May this holiday season be a time of remembering and returning for each of us. My prayer for this Christmas.