A Recap of Christmas

Christmas this year was truly so wonderful!

Our two oldest children, Hannah and Paul, came all the way from Michigan to Colorado with their families to celebrate with us!

As I described in my post, “Watching For, Waiting For, Welcoming the Light,”  the unique way we came to observe Advent when the children were little morphed into one of the moments we look forward to and treasure most every year–and this year was no exception.

I thought I’d share some photographs of our time together with you, my friends, as well as the actual readings we use, per a great many requests you’ve sent my way.

The readings follow the photos.


A Celebration of Jesus’ First Coming While Waiting For, Watching For His Second
The First Reading, to be followed by The Lighting of the First Violet Candle

Our God—First and Last, Always and Forever,
hovered and brooded over the darkness,
called forth the light,
spoke the earth and her creatures into existence,
then formed humankind in His Own likeness in the persons of Adam and Eve.

But Adam and Eve fell out of friendship with God when they chose to disobey Him.

They listened to the serpent, the embodiment of God’s enemy, Satan,
and they ate the fruit they found growing on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,
the fruit God warned them not to eat.

Their disobedience, their sin
then opened the way for sin to overtake them and all who would follow after them,
even all of us,
bringing with it every sort of disease, degeneration, and death,
as well as everlasting separation from God.

Still! God loved us, though we were as yet no more than an idea!

He loved us all so much, He promised to provide a Savior
to defeat Satan and return us to life and to friendship with Him.

“And I’ll put enmity between you (Satan) and the woman,
between your offspring and hers.
He will crush your head…” Genesis 3:15

“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God…
And the Word became flesh, and made His dwelling among us.” John 1:1, 14

A Celebration of Jesus’ First Coming While Waiting For, Watching For His Second
The Second Reading, to be followed by The Lighting of the Second Violet Candle 

And so God made His Promise to send a Savior.
And, though many years passed before His Promise manifested, God found ways to remind us of it.

One reminder of His Promise to provide a Savior may be found in the story of Noah and the Ark and the flood.

During the time of Noah, the people were so very wicked, God regretted making them at all.
But He saw Noah, a man who, though not perfect, revered Him.

God instructed Noah to build an Ark to take his family into
to be saved from the flood God sent to wipe the world clean of human wickedness.

“By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear, built an Ark to save his family.”
Hebrews 11:7

“Christ died for our sins once for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.

He was put to death in the body, but made alive by the Spirit,
through Whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago,
when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the Ark was being built.

In it only a few people—eight in all—were saved through water.
And this water symbolizes the Baptism that now saves you also.”
1 Peter 3:18-21

“As in the days of Noah, so it will be at the Coming of the Son of Man.”
Matthew 24:37

A Celebration of Jesus’ First Coming While Waiting For, Watching For His Second
The Third Reading, to be followed by The Lighting of the Third Violet Candle

Another story that reminds us of God’s Promise to send a Savior is the story of Abraham and Isaac,
when God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, but spared them both at the very last moment with a ram.

“By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice.
He who’d embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,
though God had said to him, ‘It’s through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’

Abraham reasoned God could even raise the dead,
and so in a manner of speaking, he did received Isaac back from death.”
Hebrews 11:17-19

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
‘Look! The Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world!’”
John 1:29

“For you know it wasn’t with perishable things such as silver or gold
that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers,
but with the precious Blood of Christ,
a Lamb without blemish or defect.

He was chosen before the creation of the world,
revealed in these last times for your sake!”
1 Peter 1:18-20

A Celebration of Jesus’ First Coming While Waiting For, Watching For His Second
The Fourth Reading, to be followed by The Lighting of the Fourth Violet Candle 

And the story of God delivering His people from their slavery in Egypt
served as yet another powerful reminder of His Promise.

“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals,
and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt.

The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are,
and when I see the blood, I will pass over you.
No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.”
Exodus 12:12-13

 “See, My Servant will act wisely. He’ll be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
Just as there were many who were appalled at Him,
His appearance was so disfigured, beyond that of any human being,
His form marred beyond human likeness.
So He’ll sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of Him.
For what they weren’t told, they’ll see, and what they haven’t heard, they’ll understand.
Who’s believed our message? And to whom has the Arm of the Lord been revealed?

He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.
He was despised and rejected by men, a Man of suffering, acquainted with grief,
like one from whom people hide their faces.

He was despised, and we held Him in low esteem.

Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering.
He was pierced for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities,
the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him,
and by His wounds we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way,
and the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth.
By oppression and judgment He was taken away…

He was cut off from the land of the living, for the transgression of the people He was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked, with the rich in His death,
though He’d done no violence, nor was any deceit in His Mouth.

Yet, it was the Lord’s Will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes His Life an offering for sin,

He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the Will of the Lord will prosper.
After He’s suffered, He’ll see the light of life and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My Righteous Servant will justify many, and He’ll bear their iniquities.
Therefore I’ll give Him a portion among the great, and He’ll divide the spoils with the strong.
Because He poured out His Life unto death, and was numbered among the transgressors.
For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
Isaiah 52:13-53:12

A Celebration of Jesus’ First Coming While Waiting For, Watching For His Second
The Fifth Reading, to be followed by The Lighting of the White Candle 

We remember the long wait for the manifestation of God’s Promise!
The Promise of Jesus Christ’s First Coming, and we celebrate it!

“The people walking in darkness have seen a Great Light.
On those living in the land of deep darkness a Light has Dawned.”
Isaiah 9:2

Yes, we remember His birth, His Life, His suffering, His death, His death, His resurrection, His ascension,
and we honor and celebrate it!

“…Jesus Christ
Who, being in very nature God
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.
Rather, He made Himself nothing,
taking the nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man,
He humbled Himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross!

Therefore God elevated Him to the highest place,
and gave Him a Name above every name,
that at the Name of Jesus, every knee should bow… and every tongue acknowledge,
that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!”
Philippians 2:5-11

And now we wait for Him to Come Again!

“Look! I AM Coming soon!
My reward is with Me, and I’ll give to each person according to what they’ve done.
I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

Blessed are those who wash their robes,
that they may have the right to the Tree of Life, and go into the gates of the city.

I, Jesus, have sent My Angel to give you this Testimony…

I AM the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright Morning Star.
The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’
Let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’
Let the one who’s thirsty come, and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of Life.”
Revelation 22:12-17

Kim Woodard Osterholzer, Colorado Springs Homebirth Midwife and Author

Books by Kim:

Homebirth: Safe & Sacred

Homebirth: Commonly Asked Questions

A Midwife in Amish Country: Celebrating God’s Gift of Life

Nourish + Thrive: Happy, Healthy Childbearing

One Little Life at a Time: Recommendations + Record Keeping for Aspiring Homebirth Midwives

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