**This article appeared Friday at HeartoftheMatterOnline. If you’d like, you can read it there! **
In our house, Thanksgiving dinner is a big deal. Like thousands of others, my table will groan under pounds of turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, gravy, and way too many pies. We will pass platters and refill plates and someone will probably spill something. We’ve gotten to the point where we don’t bother saying, “So, what should we make?” because we’ve been at it so long that we know there’s just no improving the menu, as it has pretty much reached perfection at this point and doesn’t need any help. And as the last forkfuls are being inhaled and people begin to push back from the table, I will disappear for just a minute and press play. Certain notes will begin to ring out, and everyone will know as the carols play …
It’s now officially Christmas time.
The end of Thanksgiving dinner has signaled the beginning of the Christmas season in our family for as long as I can remember. I am a bona fide crazy fan of the season, and I’m sure to have my boxes of Christmas decorations ready to go before I set the Thanksgiving table. This year I’m especially anxious for Christmas time to arrive, because here’s the truth:
We will officially wrap up our first semester of school the week of Thanksgiving. It’s been a long one. I’ve felt like the proverbial headless chicken for much of it. There’s been much to enjoy; the class of students I tutor weekly is wonderful, my girls’ ballet class is a highlight of their week, and my toddlers are at seriously adorable stages right now bringing much joy into our lives. Still, as I said, I’m tired. And I’m counting down the days ‘til Thanksgiving. Because my school calendar is telling truth about Christmas: it’s a signal that I can rest.
I can take a break from school; we’ve worked hard enough.
And isn’t that, truly, more than just practical truth? Christmas is all about God’s announcement that we can rest. Our work is finished. God has reached down to us; our striving can cease. He has built the bridge; we need not try to create our own. He so loves us; we don’t have to earn His approval. He sends good news of great joy that shall be to all people … “today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Lk 2:10-11.
Good news, indeed. Good tidings, of great joy: REST!