December 24, 2012
It has become a tradition of sorts on this Blog that on Christmas Eve when Tim is at work and the boys are sleeping I sit down and contemplate the meaning of Christmas. This year is no different.
A few week ago I heard someone say that while Christmas for us is full of joy, peace and love because of the birth of Christ, for him, it was the beginning of a humble human experience that would end in a torturous death. I have been thinking about that a lot. His birth, our salvation, came at a price for the God we love and serve. Yet, we have made this important day about Christmas trees, carols, gifts, mad shopping, baking and where we should be at peace more often than not it's a season filled with stress, and pain for too many of us. Instead of celebrating that amazing gift of love from God, a gift that allowed God to send his son to dwell among us we rarely take the time to think about those things.
My boys, sleeping now, are excited for Christmas, they are anticipating all the gifts like only children can, I am by no means denigrating the wonder of our traditions. I love that there is one day a year that holds the wonderful magic of Christmas, a day in the year that adults seek out the perfect gift for the little hands to unwrap, just for that moment when we can see their eyes pop open in awe and joy. I am a believer in traditions, I love Christmas and I love all the trappings of Christmas, and because I also have gifts as my love language I am like a kid myself on Christmas morning.
Having been so far from home for so many years, spending Christmas with friends but not family, and not with my traditions, I know how important they are and I missed them. However, during those years in Austria, I learned that it's not about the mad rush to get stuff, to cook enough food, to get the right present. While there, I began to learn about the beauty of watching the Christmas walk through the grounds that ended at the stable, to hear the Christmas story repeated year after year. Now, though I am not able to physically go for those precious walks, I am instead blessed to have Christmas eve alone each year, and to look back 2000 years to the greatest love story of all time. Then, to look back through the last (I won't say how many years) to all the little love stories he's given me.
What a God we serve... one who would dare to humble himself to be born in an old wooden food trough knowing he would die on an old wooden cross.
My Christmas prayer for you is that as you celebrate these wonderful holidays and all the fun traditions, that you also take time to think about what the birth of Jesus meant for you. I pray you find peace if you are struggling this Christmas, if you are alone I pray he comforts you, and you have family around I pray that you put aside the arguments to remember that out there in the world this can be a season of great pain for others and say a prayer for them. I do believe in Christmas miracles, I believe God still gives Christmas gifts and blessings better than we could ever imagine!
Just yesterday Josh sang his first song... Twinkle Twinkle little star... if that's not a miracle then what is?
Merry Christmas friends, may the love of God fill you with joy, peace and love this holiday season.