Ahhh Christmas...tis the season for going into debt so that people you don't even like or know that well can say that you bought them something that they don't want or need. Thank goodness for re-gifting. Don't forget that it is also the season of fighting perfect strangers for the hot new gift this year (I think this year it's some talking hamster!????) so that your kids don't immancipate themselves from you or turn you in for child neglect. But wait..there's more...it is also the season of feeling guilty for being only one person and not being able to be in three million places at one time...who do these people think we are...Santa!? Speaking of Santa...was it Santa's birth that we celebrate...I can't remember...the pile of gifts are distracting me...I know we're supposed to celebrate a birth around this time, right....? Yeah, I think that's it...it's all coming back to me now...the true reason for Christmas...Santa was born under a Christmas tree months after his mommy and daddy had too much egg nog and found themselves surrounded by mistletoe. Then on the day that Santa was born, which must be December 25th, his mommy and daddy gave him the coolest new toy so that he wouldn't cry and then they all had milk and cookies and lived happily ever after with Rudolph and the elves. Still not sure where the strings of lights fit in...but they're pretty, so it's okay. That's it, right!?????????
Sorry for the sarcasm.
Look.....I'm just as guilty as anyone of forgetting the true meaning of Christmas. Even though I know that Christmas is all about celebrating the birth of Jesus, I still tend to get all wrapped up (pun intended) in the crazyness of it all. If you've seen one Nativity scene...you've seen them all.
We tend to forget that without the birth of Jesus...we would all be living by the old law and be slaves to our sin...and I don't know about you all...but I am SO not into sacrificing goats. Jesus' birth shows us how much God loves us. He gave us His Son. Talk about the perfect gift. It's so crazy to think about the fact that Mary didn't have to give birth to Jesus. When the angel of God, Gabriel, came to her, he told her God's will... but she didn't have to do it. She could have said, "Thanks for considering me, but no thanks." Think about it....you're this young teenage girl...betrothed to a man in your little village (Joseph...a respectable man from the line of King David)...and now you're gonna get pregnant out of wedlock and risk losing your family, your future husband, your friends...and even your life. Back in that time...women were stoned for getting pregnant when they weren't married. Not anyone's idea of a good time. But she trusted in God, and she said YES. So, we can already learn an important lesson here....even when we feel like God may be asking us to do something or say something that people will reject us or hate us for, and we trust in Him and do it anyway...we are protected and blessed. God will complete His plan whether you are a part of it or not...but why not be a part of it!!!???? How exciting!!!
Jesus' birth wasn't the only miracle that happened during that time. Mary's cousin Elizabeth, who was an old woman, became pregnant with Jesus' cousin John...as in John the Baptist...after God told her husband Zacharia it would be so. Elizabeth and Zacharia had never had children because Elizabeth was barren. Not having children back in that time was looked down upon. Zacharia was a priest and he and Elizabeth were faithful and righteous and God found favor with them. Zacharia was so shocked when the angel Gabriel told him that he was going to be a father, that he didn't believe it...and was unable to talk until after John was born. The angel Gabriel told Zacharia to name the baby John. John was prophesied in the old testament as the one that would come before Jesus. When John was born the women of the village were going to name him Zacharia, after his father, which was tradition, but Elizabeth told them to name him John. John was 6 months older than his cousin Jesus. John baptized Jesus. Whoa. So...the lesson here is that even when it seems like it's too late...it's impossible...and God has forgotten about you...have faith that all things in God's will shall come to pass in His time....and His timing is perfect. God is in the business of doing miracles my friends!
Celebrating the birth and life of Jesus and living in a giving spirit is something we should be doing all year long. Remembering the miracles surrounding Jesus' birth should be something we medidate on often. I admit, I forget all the time all the wonderful things God has done for me. I constantly get all wrapped up (again with the pun..sorry) in my own life. God gives us all a chance to carry His dream, His life, and His purpose in us...just like He gave Mary the chance to carry His Son. We can choose whether or not we will do it. We are all able to birth out God's love, kindness, and blessings....we have all been given the option. I think it's great to give during Christmas....but some things are more important to give than others. Most people don't need another toaster, scarf, or pair of socks....they need love, friendship, companionship, laughter, a shoulder to cry on, someone to tell their stories to. I appreciate all the wonderful gifts I've gotten and will get...it's such an amazing miracle that I am so blessed when so many people in the world are not. I am so thankful for everything that I have...even if I don't need it. My cup runneth over. But I hope to give the gift of love every day and never be afraid to say YES when it comes to God. I don't want normal and average....I want to follow the road less traveled. And all of this will be possible with God. Give the gift of Love...every day. And remember that celebrating Jesus' birth isn't about trees, lights, and presents....it is about remembering that God is a miracle worker and that He loves us...and that all things are possible with Him. Why do you think it is so easy for little kids to believe in Santa...some fat dude that visits every house in the world, has flying reindeer, and fits down your chimney (who has chimney's anymore!?)...it's because little kids believe in miracles. Jesus said, "Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it."(Luke 18:17) Don't let the worries and burdens of the world take away your childlike belief in the impossible!! Miracles are happening all around you!
The birth of Jesus represents the biggest gift of all...the gift of LIFE.
Thank you God for your Son.