I love my Christmas books. In putting away all the Christmas decorations (I confess that sometimes it doesn’t happen till the end of January and one year even pushed toward Valentines Day), I make sure they are the last to go into the chest of Christmas treasures. That way they are the first things to come out the following year. There are stories for children with great illustrations (always a deciding factor when purchasing), books for ladies’ tea parties , and, of course, the classics like A Christmas Carol, The Innkeeper and Two From Galilee.
But my forever favorites are two Advent books. They are getting a little shabby, underlined, highlighted and dotted with coffee spots. That makes them all the more special, sort of like the Velveteen Rabbit becoming “real” because he was so dearly and deeply loved.
The first is “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus,” a compilation of several well known authors through the ages, edited and compiled by Nancy Guthrie. The second is “The Dawning of Indestructible Joy” by John Piper.
Each day’s reading finds me wanting more than just the few pages designated for that date. I used to skip ahead and read through the entire thing because it all was so rich and beautiful. The more I read, the more I wanted. This year I have disciplined myself (mostly) to be content with the specified day’s gem…to reflect on it, to let it penetrate my soul, to reread as many times as my spirit needs. Even then, it still leaves me wanting more; more beautifully written devotions, more words that sink deep into my heart. I guess what I am really wanting is more of Jesus, experiencing the fullness of the blessing of Christ that Paul describes in Romans 3:14-19.
The introduction of Piper’s book says it best. It is truly my heart’s desire, not just for myself but for all those I love. What more could I ask than that:
“You may be FILLED with the fullness of God…you may have POWER to comprehend it all…that you would EXPERIENCE the fullness of Christ…that you would KNOW the outpouring of grace upon grace (my favorite)…that the glory of the only Son would SHINE INTO YOUR HEART…and that you would be AMAZED that Christ can be so real to you.”
Until your return, Lord, Jesus, yes, yes, yes! May it ever be.