NOTE: For our devotions from Friday December 29 through Wednesday January 3, I have chosen to write some devotionals you might just re-read in the proposed Advent Devotional 2018: My Favorite “Christmas” Things. These devotionals deal with different topic and are being used to set your own “creative juices” flowing that you might make a submission to the Advent Devotional 2018.
Read: Matthew 2:-8-12
One of My Favorite “Christmas” Things is Christmas Trips. Early on these were short excursions. Dad, Mother, and I piled into “A Merry Oldsmobile,” (Dad’s preferred make of auto)just before or just after Christmas. We would drive around neighborhoods in Union, South Carolina, and later Thomasville, North Carolina, to see the Christmas lights. There were some impressive light displays then, but they pale in comparison to some of the extremely elaborate ones we see today.
In my high school or college years, we drove from Thomasville to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to attend a Candlelight Love Feast at Home Moravian Church. The church was beautiful with the customary evergreen garlands and wreaths with red bows. The music included organ and brass instruments and the singing was grand. We were served love feast buns with mugs of coffee with cream and sugar. We were given beeswax candles with red crepe paper frills.
Another year we went to Colonial Williamsburg and I “oohed” and “aahed” over the natural decorations that graced the doors and windows. It was beautiful! We went to an evening performance of Handel’s Messiah in Bruton Parish Church and had a late supper of lobster bisque and savory sandwiches at the Williamsburg Inn.
In 1995 while serving as pastor of Pearisburg Presbyterian Church, a group of us traveled to Asheville, North Carolina to attend the Centennial celebration of the opening of the Biltmore Estate. It was decorated elaborately with a forest-sized tree trimmed and standing in the Great Hall and the Conservatory was filled with poinsettias. There was instrumental music and choral singing of carols. We toured the house with the aromas of spiced cider and gingerbread pouring from the kitchen. (This year a young friend named Drew is going to see the Biltmore Estate at Christmas and I was so happy for him and I am sure he will have wonderful memories of this special Christmas trip.)
O Lord, the wise men traveled far on that first Christmas trip. We thank You that they were guided by the star and we pray that we may be guided to places that bid us to pause and ponder Your grace and glory. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.