Happy Birthday, Jesus!
I think today might have been the best Christmas. There were no gift openings, no crazy events, but it was somehow special.
I’ve had my share of memorable Christmas memories. For instance, Santa himself wrote me a personal letter in this amazing font (probably found on a computer) that made it completely legit. Santa told me that I had the best Mom in the world and that I had to take good care of her. Another year, I got a matching Little Mermaid tent and sleeping bag. I’m pretty sure I didn’t even like Little Mermaid that much but I ended up spending many hours in that little tent. Then once my brother came along, I found a joy in bringing him the magic of Santa. One night, I stayed up maybe all night with my equally inexperienced mom building his Little Tikes Jeep that went at the amazing speed of 3 mph. Another year this weird new phenomenon called “The Elf on the Shelf” or something like that started. This little elf doll, which could not be touched by the children at risk of its magic running out, would sit somewhere in the house watching to make sure the kid’s being good. Then as any good messenger would, he returns back to the North Pole to report to Santa. Anyhoo, the point is that my brother would feed the elf and write it notes so I had to make sure the peanuts went away and that a note was written back in a different handwriting from my own. Then my brother started wondering why the elf wouldn’t move around the house like other kids’ elves would each night, so I would SPRINT to move the elf in the morning when I woke up just in case my brother hadn’t seen it yet. The things I do for him. I digress.
So now this year…what changed? My brother no longer believes in Santa. We (my mom, bro, and I) have grown deeper roots in our faiths to fully and completely celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. That a Person who loved the world so much came down to earth so humbly just to express His love for us. That person’s name is Jesus. As one song goes, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. Sadly though, many children who experience the joy of this season don’t actually know what CHRISTmas is about. A baby born in a manger…it’s a story many of us are familiar with, but many still don’t understand how amazing it is. Love came down. That’s a reason to celebrate all year, not just in this season.
Yes, I get slightly disgruntled when I see all the materialism and greediness that surrounds the season, but wasn’t that me just a few years ago? And probably still me just a bit toned down? What changed was that I realized what the true meaning is…and that’s when my eyes were opened and my heart was changed. That’s why causes like clean water are truly what I want to give to (I must admit that the ‘active citizen’ thing at Tufts has also had an effect on me). Like this one that you should give to: http://mycharitywater.org/tuftsforcleanwater. I didn’t expect anything for Christmas. I was perfectly content to be with my family. However, a big blessing poured in from a sister in Christ tonight and I found lodging to go to Passion 2012! Just signed up! [my mom insisted a few days ago that I go for a refresher if I found lodging since she was planning on going to Atlanta anyways ] I started 2011 with Passion Conference in Atlanta, and I can’t wait to start 2012 the same way.
This was a special Christmas. It was the seemingly little things I think. No sleepy sprinting to the tree to see what gifts Santa brought. It definitely brought a big smile to my brother’s face in his early childhood, but this morning we just got ready for church. We shared the joy of Christmas morning with our church family, recognizing the joy that Christ came for us. The day continued just as any other day though really. In a weird way, that’s how I want Christmas to be. Yes, it’s a great way for us to gather with our families and friends, but if I remember the Love that should be celebrated today, that’s something I should remember every time I breathe. I felt so loved by my mom when she cooked a full Christmas dinner for me since I wasn’t home for Thanksgiving, and it was totally unnecessary but that’s just one way she wanted to express her love. And she’s just my mom…my Father in heaven has a love for me that is so much bigger and deeper and stronger than my mom’s love can ever be. I should feel so loved by God all the time!
Always serve, always rejoice in the day that I have, always LOVE. A lesson for all seasons. Merry Christmas everyone.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16