Wednesday, December 24, 2008

On Reflections

Christmas brings out memories in us. We remember our childhood, and the traditions, special people and presents that filled those early Christmas mornings. And as we age, each year adds to the treasure trove of memories, with new places and people taking on staring roles as we move away from parents, establish our own families, and experience the life changes that career building inevitably brings. We trace our journey through different cities, houses, jobs, and relationships and remember the way Christmas happened differently along the way.

But this year I am finding that Christmas memories are doing more than help me trace my personal and family history. They also are serving to underscore that fact that our family future is about to turn yet another corner, taking us into a new city and ministry position with all the changes and challenges that move will entail. Where will our family be decorating the tree next year? How will our favorite traditions fit into a new community, and new church family? Where will I be hanging the stockings next year, and how will we light the next house? What will we be missing that we now enjoy, and what will we have discovered as new and exciting? These questions and many others creep into my mind, poignantly reminding me that change and the prevailing "unknown" are about to encroach on the stability and comfortable "known" of my life.

Christmas is a time of surety and security for me. It comes in ways that remind me of how good and ordered and comfortable my life and family are. I have come to expect - indeed, rely on - certain things about my Christmas and when they happen, I feel settled and filled with the joy of certainty. But, this year, Christmas is being played out against the backdrop of change as we are pressed to think about packing up a household, finding interim housing, leaving a greatly loved congregation, living out of suitcases, and just generally accepting the fact that we aren't going to experience the order and security of the "known" for the next 2-3 months.

And so, what to do? Only this: I am reflecting on the fact that what really makes Christmas secure is the same no matter what city or house I am in. Jesus Christ, my Savior, is not limited to a place or a circumstance. He is mine, and I am His. And as a Death Cab For Cutie song says "He could have done better than me, but I could never do better than Him." So, in my times of despondency, I go past those traditions that have always brought normalcy to my Christmas, and land at Jesus. He never disappoints, and never disappears. And while I know how weird it is for me - a pastor - to "discover" how fulfilling it is to center on Jesus at Christmas (duh!), I must admit that this year the reality of Jesus is much more exciting for me. He is my staying power, my confident and consistent stability, and being my Lord, He is the only One whose "well done" I am obligated to pursue. May your Christmas be filled with Him!

Hope this helps,

David

7 Comments:

At 12:13 PM , Blogger DeedieLynn said...

Praying for you both, and for Northpoint, especially for this Christmastime!
I have really enjoyed your Advent 2007 sermons!
Grace to you,
Deanna, from GBC

 
At 11:31 AM , Blogger Grandma Nancy said...

Dear David and Cherylyn,
Having been in those same shoes many years ago when our girls were very young, we understand your feelings well. We were moving across the country, leaving family and friends behind for the great "unknown"! For us, all the boxes were already packed and ready for the movers...including all the decorations...and the only tree we had was a 2 ft high "blink on/blink off" tree that some kind soul brought to us from the market. We laid a green towel on an ottoman and set the tree there with presents around it. We laugh about it now, but it was right out of "A Christmas Story"!! (We promised the girls that "next year" we would have the BIGGEST tree our new home would allow...and boy, did we ever!) The thing that made it ok, of course, was knowing it was God who was leading- and we chose to follow.
May this poignant Christmas be one that reveals hidden blessings and much tenderness of heart. "Lead on, Lord Jesus, lead on"!
A very joyous Christmas to you and yours from us and ours....
Nancy and Jim Gabor

PS I LOVE Jan Karon! ng

 
At 6:15 PM , Anonymous Stephanie Lippencott said...

David and Cherylyn,

Thank you so much for sharing your musings. We at Grace have truly come to understand in a much fuller sense Jesus as our Good Shepherd over the past 2 years. That He has even brought growth in the Grace body during this time reminds me how shamefully weak my faith is. How precious we are to our Lord!

I am resisting the temptation to invite you to be a Friend on Facebook (I mean, really, we haven't even met!). But hopefully, we will have the opportunity to meet when you arrive in Santa Clarita.

Your fellow Italian enthusiast
(Montepulciano is my favorite),
Stephanie Lippencott

 
At 12:38 PM , Blogger SEE THE LATEST STUFF......... said...

David,

Just checking your blog, what a shock. Our prayers go out to you and your family as you embark on this change. I'm sure you will be a blessing to GBC as you were to Northpoint. You are in our prayers.

Steve & Debbie Golliher

 
At 11:15 PM , Blogger Alan said...

Dear David,
This evening I put my son and his wife on a plane headed for his permanent duty station in North Carolina. Although we have been preparing for this for some time, it doesn't make it any easier knowing this is his path away from from us; away but not apart. He will always be a part of our family; we love him even though seeing him in person will now be relegated to special occasions. As I sat listening to you this morning, I saw a parallel between him and you. You and Cherylyn are a part of our church family. Although you are leaving us to serve God in another church family, you are still a part of ours. I pray that God blesses you and Cherylyn and touches your new church family through you as He has here. I will miss your teaching, your wit but most of all the blessing I've received through you. Your brother in Christ, Alan.

 
At 12:06 PM , Anonymous Homie said...

Dr. Hegg,
VERY much looking forward to you & Cherylyn arriving @ GBC. I know the transition is bittersweet but my wife, Sara, & I are ECSTATIC! Frankly, I'd become concerned that a seeker-sensitive &/or emergent type fella was going to be presented, but after listening to a few of your sermons on-line & reading your blog, I'm breathing alot easier. I hope you all are as enthusiastic as we.
My prayers for you & your family as well as your family @ Northpoint. I certainly do thank them for their part in "growing" the man you are.
God's Blessings & Grace to You Both
Homer Temple

 
At 6:04 PM , Blogger kaylynn55 said...

Believe it or not, I visited Grace for the first time this morning, and I was very impressed. When I heard you would be there for questions this afternoon, I went then, also, and you both made a very good first impression. It was refreshing that you told the truth in love without resorting to P.C.C. (Politically Correct Christianeze) and that you could make us think and laugh all while maintaining a great sense of humor. I'm hoping and praying this is where the Lord is leading me and my family, but, regardless, I'm glad we're family. I've been, and will be, praying for you and your family... -k

 

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