Because of the norovirus at a mid-Michigan nursing home, it's going to be a long Christmas weekend
Christmas morning in Lansing, Michigan: Story about Leslie retiree who makes wooden crosses

Grocery shopping at Meijer on West Saginaw in Lansing on the Saturday before Christmas

For far too long, I've coasted through the real meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ.  Sure, I love our family celebration with the kids, catching up with their lives, eat dinner, snacks, a couple bottles of wine and even a Scrabble game.  Of course, we'd always go to church.

But, I haven't always felt as connected and plugged into what Christmas is about.  Maybe, it's because I've never tried to look beneath the manger scenes for the real Jesus and what he means to me in my life on a real time, live streaming sort of way.

To help, when my wife and I went to Meijer for groceries this morning, I took my Siemens/Cingular phone/pda where I've installed three versions of the Bible.

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As we did a slow roll through the crowded aisles, I schlupped out my PDA-based Message version of the Bible and looked at the Luke 2 telling of the Virgin Birth.

That's where I read again this part of the story:

Verses 8-12

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified.

The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."

Through our $175 visit to Meijer on the westside of Lansing, I tried to visualize what it would be like for an angel to appear in the store right at that moment and see how "God's glory blazed around them."  Then I reminded myself this actually happened at a real place and in real time.

When was the last time I saw any glory blaze?

There was the time when I saw my wife walk down the aisle more than 25 years ago.  When I saw my kids come into the world.  Those two stand out in my mind.

Those moments and many others were "I-Spys" where I know that I saw the hand of God at work.  I forgot my first glimpse of the Grand Canyon from the edge.  A real God moment.

I know regardless of how I feel right now, he's real and, at some point, I will see that blazing glory of God that the shepherds saw.

As we were checking out, I heard music in the store.  It was, "I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus."  Oh well.