the precious thing he went to recover

December 4th, 2012 | Posted by

Last night it was cold enough for a fire. Fall is slipping into winter, time again to take the cozy down comforter off the shelf in the hall linen closet.

It is pumpkin pie weather, time for hearty stews, baking bread, and decorating the Christmas tree. I love pine and cedar candles and I love receiving Christmas cards and hearing carols sung.

Most of all, I love the manger scenes. We have three. One is made for children and we set it out in the spare bedroom upstairs for our grandchildren to play with. It is made by Playmobile and comes complete with the full cast of familiar characters: camel, donkey, sheep, wise men, shepherds, and of course, the holy family.

The second one is primitive, made of wood in muted, earthy colors. It is in the formal living room.

But just a few weeks ago, Greg ordered a kitschy retro light-up one for the front yard. He thinks it is too small, but I love it nestled among the white pansies and alyssum under the lighted olive tree. Allie has taken a special liking to it, as have so have many of the neighborhood children.

For Christians around the world, Advent may or may not be celebrated with lighted manger scenes and exchanging gifts. Many, myself included, may struggle to stand against the tide of merchandising and trivializing this holy day. Let’s remember to keep our focus on the immense spiritual significance we mark on December 25.

Regardless of whether your shopping, baking, and decorating were completed before December 1 (By the way, congratulations; that’s quite an achievement!) . . . or not, we haven’t even begun to appreciate Jesus’ birth until our hearts are bowed in worship. May the wonder of Christmas always be focused on the King of the universe, who came as a helpless Infant to a world that would for the most part reject, torture, and kill Him.

Our King came to His rebel planet to claim His treasure. It was the grand plan conceived in eternity to rescue and restore the kingdom that is His. The sweetness of the story we often hear should not diminish the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus, the eternal Son of God, made on our behalf.

As C.S. Lewis put it so eloquently and graphically:

“He comes down; down from the heights of absolute being into time and space, down into humanity; down further still . . . to the very roots and seabed of the Nature He has created. But He goes down to come up again and bring the whole ruined world up with Him. [He is like a] diver, first reducing himself to nakedness, then glancing in mid-air, then gone with a splash, vanished, rushing down through green and warm water into black and cold water, down through increasing pressure into the death-like region of ooze and slime and old decay; then up again, back to colour and light, his lungs almost bursting, till suddenly he breaks surface again, holding in his hand the dripping, precious thing that he went down to recover.”


  1. Ellie Guerrero says:

    Beautiful picture Cathe. Merry CHRISTmas!

  2. Jeannie says:

    Thank you Cathe for sharing your sweet grandkids with us. We have seven precious blessings from the Lord. Merry Christmas to each of you.

  3. Kathryn Gilleon says:

    Merry Christmas to you and Your Beautiful Family. May God Bless, and hold you forever in His Loving Hands.

  4. Veronica Bosak says:

    Merry Christmas Cathe to you and your family. Thank you for sharing your grandkids with us.

  5. Susy Acosta says:

    Feliz Navidad what an awesome gift from God to you to have such a beautiful family. You are alwasys in my prayers.
    Love Susy :)

  6. Delphine Reynolds-Mengel says:

    Thank you Cathe and God bless you and your family.

  7. Alison Couper says:

    Thank you for allowing us a glimpse of Christmas time in your home. This is the most amazing and magical time of the year. And like you said not because of the worldly aspects but of the heavenly wonders that took place long ago. We are a blessed people and most of us walk through life not even knowing it, what a tragedy that is. Thank you again for reminding us of the sacrifice that was made for us.

  8. Gina says:

    Thank you Cathe for this beautiful Christmas letter you e-mailed me…you have such beautiful grand-kids..and Pastor Greg he is just awesome! I want to wish you and your whole family a Merry..Merry Christmas. God Bless You! Gina

  9. Keith Murphy says:

    Hi Cathe. I hope you & Greg and your entire family have a blessed and wonderful Christmas. I admire the work that your family has done over the years guiding people to the Lord. Even though I am going through a tough time myself, it is comforting for me to know how many people you help!….GOD BLESS.

    • Katrina Chajkowski says:

      Keith, I want to encourage you to embrace your difficulties as a way God is drawing you near to Him. 2 Corinthians 12:10 for when I am weak, then am I strong. Somethimes when we are in prosperous times, we think we don’t need God- 2 Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Know that I am praying for you & your family. Stay strong for your kids. Stay in the Word.

  10. Victor&Mary says:

    I’m very happy for the two of you. It’s a blessing to be in love and have the blessings of grandchildren to enjoy forever. Thank You, for all the studies at church that teach us about Jesus Christ Our Savior! Merry Christmas and a joyful New Year!

  11. Bonnie Chapman says:

    Hi Cathe ♥Thanks so very very much for sharing today again. I appreciate your wisdom and your words of encouragement to edify each one of here. A most lovely picture of you, Greg and these Grand Kids :) Merry Christmas. We speak as long as we can of Jesus. It is imperative that we look beyond the manger to Calvary and then beyond that for our Salvation.
    ~ bc <3

  12. Paula Gershoony says:

    Hi Cathe,
    I am new to your site but LOVE it and your Simply Jesus intro bible study~ I just printed out the 1st lesson and am looking forward to it. Thank you for your online study and encouragement. I am a Calvary girl here in Placerville California. We have attended Calvary Chapel Placerville for 15 years and love it. It is hard to commit to a weekly bible study as I am the main caretaker for my parents and also am a homeschooling mom and wife. So getting connected online and watching your first intro was so exciting for me. Thank you ~ Praise the Lord for the web.
    Merry CHRISTmas
    love, Paula

  13. Christy says:

    Dear Cathe,
    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful message and such beautiful pictures of your family.
    I listen to Greg every morning on my iPhone. His daily messages have been so inspirational and uplifting.
    I live out here in Ohio and I look so forward to his messages every morning. I have just recently become a Harvest Partner with your ministry.
    I pray blessings to be poured upon your precious family this Christmas season.
    Love always,
    Christy < ❤❤❤

  14. Gemma and Raul says:

    Merry Christmas to the Laurie family from our family. Thank you for sharing your beautiful grandchildren and Pastor Greg with us. What a wonderful gift from our Lord.

  15. Vijaykumar says:

    Wishing a happy happy merry Christmas to the Laurie family. l love the family photos. God is blessing you and your family.
    Vijaykumar engineer India

  16. Debbie M. Santa says:

    I’m writing this during a time in my life that all is not so well. Christmas is usually a blessed time for me and my family. Thank you for sharing your Christmas blessings. It is such a blessing to me, encouraging and uplifting. My husband who I recently married, listens to Greg’s messages every morning. He had suffered a loss of his previous wife to cancer. Now I’m in the same mode of loss due to the sadness that my son is expierencing the loss of his father (my ex husband), and I feel for my son’s loss. Please keep James in prayer.

    In Jesus

  17. Marilyn says:

    Thank you Cathe for your words. This Christmas finds me reuniting with a wayward sister, with Jesus’s perfect forgiveness in my heart for her. Thanks to studying the Simply Jesus virtue study of the Sermon on the Mount, I was able to completely and thoroughly understand how much my Father forgave my sins. Once I understood that, a light went off in my mind and in my heart. It was freedom, literally. And I kinda felt like the Grinch, with my heart growing three sizes, so big it felt like it was going to explode!! I’m so excited to welcome her into my home this year and forever more. Please pray she sees Jesus and His love in me!

  18. Mwansa says:

    Thank you Cathe for sharing your Christmas blessing with us. For Jesus is the reason for the season, may this Christmas fill you and the family with abandant Love from above.

    God bless. You are such a blessing.

  19. Maria McClanahan says:

    Thank you for this. Merry Chirstmas to your family. Loving out Lord, Jesus. Maria….

  20. Debbie says:

    Good Morning,

    Merry Christmas! Thank you for sending My Jesus is Awesome how beautiful to know that he came for me!
    This brings great joy to me!
    How precious is your family. I have six grandchildren too. I love being a grandma!
    God’s Love and Peace and Joy!
    Thank you,

  21. Samantha says:

    Merry Christmas Cathe and Pastor Greg. Beautiful family!

  22. Lor Bray says:

    Dear Cathe, Greg and Family;

    Thank you so much for your examples for Christ you two are for me and everyone else to see and learn from.
    Have a Happy 60th birthday Greg, your wife let us know that it’s in December and have a wonderful time on
    vacation in Hawaii and a safe Holiday season. A Beautiful picture of you two with the “gang”

    From our home to yours Merry Christmas! Tom and Lori Bray

  23. Adrienne says:

    Merry Christmas !! : )

  24. Sarah E. Shere says:

    Beautiful! Thank you, and God Bless your Christmastide!

  25. Janet says:

    Mrs. Laurie, you’re beautiful! So is your family! I miss your church. I attended your church while in college. Will be praying for you. Merry Christmas!

  26. Barbara Abee says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family. I have been listening to Greg for some time and recenty started listening to you. You both bring the word of God so simple but so true to listeners. I just donated and received the Red book and can not wait to read it. Love you both!!

  27. Linda says:

    Blessings to the Laurie Family, Love the picture. Grandchildren are GRAND. I Have (7) my first is in Heaven,
    I know I’ll see her some day. That is our HOPE, Isn”t that what CHRISTmas is all about. Our Savior Jesus, came to give us HOPE. Merry Christmas to you all. Cathe, I always enjoy your writings.
    Christ Love to all.

  28. Tami says:

    Thank you for sharing Cathe. I really enjoy your perspective on things. Beautiful picture of your family!

  29. Sherry McFall says:

    “Merry Christmas”….You are family to our family, and I want to thank you for always sharing with us. Sharing your family, but also sharing God’s word and reminding us why we are celebrating at this time of year. We are thankful everyday that 18 years ago, we accepted our Lord and that Harvest is our home church. We feel so blessed by God! We love you all!!!

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