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Celebrating the advent season

Christmas season is almost upon us. Can you believe it? I feel like I blinked last year and then suddenly it was Christmas THIS year! Time certainly moves in strange ways!

Earlier this year I got to illustrate an advent book written by Samuel Schaefer with Siretona Creative. You can find the book at schaeferbooks.com/shop. It's a journey through Advent from the perspective of an often forgotten member of the Christmas story: Joseph.

You can purchase a hard cover or paperback copy on the Schaefer books website, and it would make for a pretty neat Christmas gift! Or rather, a neat advent gift. After all, it's an advent book, to be enjoyed in the month before Christmas day. In our family we have always celebrated Christmas all the way through the advent season. During the four sundays before Christmas day we exchange small stocking gifts, sing together and do an advent reading.

We also always listen to one of the "12 Voices of Christmas." It behooves me to share with you the voice of Joseph in this blogpost, therefore. He is the Voice of Reason. You can hear all the 12 voices on the Back to the Bible website.

It does the spirit good to try and put yourself into the shoes of the people who saw Jesus when he was here on earth. I highly encourage you to hone your imagination like a precise tool. Think of it like a magnifying glass that can see things the naked eye can't. Or think of your imagination like a shovel you can use to find buried treasure. Or like a vehicle you can ride to take you places your reason can't naturally go. I believe that God gave us imagination in part to help us live by faith, not by sight. Imagination gives us insight - inner sight. Through this way of seeing our belief is bolstered and our joy is strengthened.

This Christmas, don't let yourself think "Ah, this old story again." Use your imagination to find new insight into this most-precious tale. Find the hidden treasures that wait for you in the story of Christ's birth. Receive the gift of his Presence again, as if God himself wrapped it up and placed it under your tree. Because truth be told, he did! Wrapped in swaddling cloths, Jesus was placed into our world for us. It was given about 2000 years ago, but it's not musty or old. The gift of his Life will never crumble or wear out, because it is a multiplying, ever-renewing gift. It is a Gift that makes more gifts!

May you be blessed anew by the gift of Jesus' birth this Christmas season. God bless you!

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