Glory to the newborn King!



Mom’s Christmas décor sat in a rubbermaid in the corner. Dad had brought Mom’s decorations to me last year, but I lacked the headspace to unpack them. In moments of longing for Mom’s hugs—I turned to something tangible, left how she left them.

Lifting out Mom’s garland, clutching her favorite Christmas ribbon, that matched the print on her favorite Christmas blouse, her ornaments—all physical indications that Mom was (really) here as years of grief make her life feel dreamlike.

For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.

Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

1 Cor. 15:16-18 ESV.

As I began positioning Mom’s garland on my staircase, I obsessively arranged and rearranged it, stopping to walk down the stairs, take it all in, deciding to do it over. I could do better. She would do better. If I could get the garland situated just right—yes, there, like that, perfect—I know Mom will come back.

If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

v. 19, 22-23.

I am straining hard to make this everything it’s meant to be. Traditions, deeply meaningful gifts, treasured decorations, sentimental moments, family gatherings, giving opportunities, devotional time, discipling kids, fixing, helping—all good things, what gifts, indeed. Hoping to harness the blessed opportunity in every moment, I find myself choking on the very holiday meant to glorify the One who came that we may have life and to the full.

If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

v. 32.

We couldn’t if we tried. To harness every moment—to think it’s attainable or necessary—is to presume redemption won’t happen or where it does, its work is partial or mediocre.

You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.

v. 36.

To wring every drop dry here in order to beat death looks markedly different than wringing every drop dry here in response to Hope already won. There is no need to escape the perishable, finite, fleeting, grief, and death where this is the very seed our Lord turns on its head to raise us in glory.

So it is with the resurrection of the dead.

What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable.

It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory.

It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.

It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.

v. 42-44.

Our days may not change here, but we have. Our holiday traditions may not look different, but we do. Our grief may not die soon, but it will.

The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven…

Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

v. 47, 49.

Hallelujah to the second man, the God-Man, King Jesus, who became dust that we shall bear the image of the man of heaven!

On Him, we fall in weakness.

This unattainable perfectionism. This pride-filled heart. This want for ease, value, & control.

Jesus, You came for our sin!

In Him, we cease the endless angst of the perishable.

This aging vessel. This broken desire. This sick body.

Jesus, You came for our death!

With Him, we rest in Hope.

This lost relationship. This dire fact. This chasm between us and God.

Jesus, You came to restore!

Born that man no more may die

Born to raise the sons of earth

Born to give them second birth.

He is here now, and He will come again!

–Paige

Thanks for being an e-mail follower of paigepippin.com. 😊 (And if you’re not, I’d love for you to scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your email there.)

For more of my writing & speaking—

  1. The Gospel Coalition: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/scared-pray-group/
  2. Risen Motherhood: https://www.risenmotherhood.com/articles/placeholders-perseverance-when-spiritual-disciplines-feel-pointless
  3. Guest on Can You Just Sit With Me podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/7-gods-love-is-loud-in-our-pain-with-paige-pippin/id1485838043?i=1000584493473
  4. Holiday devotional on grief: https://paigepippin.com/category/words/series/

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Marla Smith says:

    Absolutely love your posts! Keep them coming!

    Like

    1. paigepippin says:

      Thank you so much, Marla. ❤️

      Like

  2. Cookie says:

    Know that your hand was guided every step of the way as you put each strand each bulb in place….love what you wrote…you are special Page. Love ya

    Like

    1. paigepippin says:

      Cookie, love you, and I am praying for you. Thank you for encouraging me. ❤️

      Like

  3. Alden and Joan Dick says:

    Sweet Paige: the Holy Spirit is so active in your life! Keep leaning into Him! We love you!

    Like

    1. paigepippin says:

      Praise God! Love you—and grateful for your example & encouragement.

      Like

  4. Ann Clayton says:

    Paige, this is just the reminder that I needed today! I look forward to the day when I will stand in His presence and worship Christ with all those who have gone before me! I am crying as I write this because I think of your gracious and loving mother and so many others . I am grieving this Christmas for those not here. Thank you for your encouraging words!

    Like

    1. paigepippin says:

      Ann, praise God for our great Hope. And so very thankful for your encouragement & prayers. You are a joy.

      Like

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