Holiday Joy and Judgement from a Little Stuffed Doll

(Let me just say, if my son were to read this post I would be in big time trouble!)

With the beginning of Advent at our house, we not only welcome pink and purples candles, anticipate the season of Christmas, the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior,  but we also welcome the return of our “Elf on the Shelf” James. I know you are already judging us for our commitment to not only remember to read a family devotion each night but also remember to move that crazy elf while the children sleep each night. Is it worth it? Maybe. Every day, my son, Evan is highly motivated not only to find James but also be on his best behavior so that James will watch him throughout the day and fly back to the North Pole and let Santa know what a good boy he’s been that day.

It’s amazing how popular this new tradition has become with families. What’s even more amazing is how whether we admit it or not we often treat God as if he were this cosmic presence watching and waiting for us to mess up. Somewhere along our faith journey we often start accessing our worth based on our ability to be good enough each day. God then becomes a critical judge up in heaven waiting for us to slip up and so that he can punish.  It is easy then to find ourselves in a cycle of works righteousness.

This could not be further from the truth!  God isn’t standing over you judging your every movement and rewarding you only when you are good.  Instead, he comes with open arms full of love and mercy. He comes this Christmas instead into our lives offering us the gift of his Son Jesus. He comes with the promise of forgiveness, hope, and new beginnings. And…no thank you note required!

Join us as we continue to pursue the grace of God this Advent season remembering the gift made perfect in Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection. And…no thank you note required!  Celebrate with us the freedom we have in Christ to experience His love and joy. Wait with us as we long for his coming.