O Jesus Christ, Thy manger is
My paradise in which my soul reclineth.
For there, O Lord, doth lie the Word
Made flesh for us; herein Thy grace forth shineth.
ELH 161, v.1


It doesn’t try to anticipate a need or clean up a mess. It reclines.

Friends, I don’t know how your Christmas break has been. But if you are like me, you have not reclined nearly as much as you would have liked. We take a break from school only to cook, clean, decorate, wrap, write cards, bake; perhaps pack and travel. And those children who are no longer occupied with lessons? Their spirits and energy have never been higher. And rightly so – Christ is born!

Christ is born. He comes, not to pile more tasks on our plates. Not to place a nagging guilt in the back of our minds about things we have forgotten or left half-done or done poorly. No. He removes our guilt. He comes to us. And we must do nothing; we only receive.

Our needs: met. Our mess: cleaned.

Merry Christmas, friends. Recline in his grace.

Amanda Moldstad is a co-founder of the Lutheran Homeschool Association. She and her husband, John, homeschool their five children in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

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