Greetings all, we are going to do something a little different for our e-votionals this Advent season.

Anne Marie Miller will be our King Speaker on January 25, and she has written an Advent devotional.

This month she has agreed to allow me to share some of those with you.  I hope you enjoy them, and if you want the entire devotional, you can download it from her website, www.annemariemiller.com
…WHITE TEETH

White teeth.

There are so many white teeth in Christmas commercials.

These perfect white teeth gleam from perfectly formed smiles on perfectly dressed actors in perfectly decorated homes as perfectly cooked food emerges from the latest perfect appliances as the perfect father in the perfect J. Crew sweater brings the perfect turkey to the perfectly set Christmas table as the perfect family with all their silverware in all the right places and crystal goblets full of water and wine eagerly await the perfect Christmas Eve dinner.

The candles flicker.
The music plays.
The tree sparkles.
The snowflakes float.
The sun sets.
The sun rises.

It is now Christmas.

The children with perfect hair wake up and run down a perfectly polished wooden staircase wrapped in garland and lights and ribbons to open up perfectly wrapped presents under the perfect tree as mom and dad sit on their perfect sofas and take perfect photos wearing their perfectly matched pajamas.

Everyone gets what they want yet act perfectly surprised.

This is what Christmas looks like on TV.

In real life, when we head into the bathroom and take a break from our drunk uncles or our fighting parents or the annoying grandchildren and we check our Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Whatever we are given glimpses into the worlds of those we know who, for the most part, share their own images of Christmas perfection. We rest against the bathroom wall and wonder why.

Christmas is love. Christmas is light. But for many of us, Christmas is one of the most difficult times of the year. Maybe there has been loss. Grief. Painful reminders of our brokenness or the brokenness of others. We pause and we wonder.

Why?
Why me?
Why this?
Why us?

If that is you this Christmas season – if you are one who is hurting more than healing – you are not alone. The depths of the meaning of Christmas are for you. It’s not the smiling family or the perfect turkey or the iPad mini. It isn’t even the promise of feeling good during Christmas.

Christmas is a reminder that the One who is perfect – who brought His holy, pure love and grace to earth – became God and Spirit wrapped in flesh and was born into the most imperfect conditions because of one simple fact:

He loves you.

He loves you.

Reflect: Though feeling Christ’s love may be hard to see in the middle of media blitzes or as we virtually peer into the windows of those online, and though that love may be hard to feel because sometimes the silence of God can be more powerful than hearing His voice, that love is there and has you so tightly wrapped up and it will never let you go.

Never.

May your Christmas be filled with the love of Christ and the hope and joy he freely gives.