Monday, December 20, 2010

Moving, Meaningful, and Magnificent

Like many other Christians, Christmas is the most moving, meaningful, and magnificent time of the year for me.

First, just saying "Merry Christmas" these days provides an open door to tell people we meet in stores and on the streets that we want to keep Christ in Christmas. Depending upon the situation, when I receive a smile in return and an openness to talk via the person’s body language, I can discuss why keeping Christ in Christmas is so meaningful to me. Plus, all the awesome Christmas programs in churches provide so many opportunities to bring friends in to hear the gospel. Even school Christmas programs provide opportunities to talk about our Savior. After we applaud their cute program about Santa and giving gifts, we can bring the Perfect Gift God gave to each of us into the conversation with teachers and students. We parents are not prohibited from talking about Jesus on school grounds. In my neighborhood a home sits on a hill right next to an elementary school. Each year the lovely people in that home drape a huge banner across their fence for all the students to see—Jesus is the Reason For The Season. All the cars passing by on that very busy street enjoy the sign as well.

I sing in a two hundred person Sanctuary choir and it is my pleasure each year to spend many extra hours rehearsing songs that worship our Lord. Then on performance night I offer my sacrifice of praise to my Lord. And I love to sing Christmas songs and carols from Elvis and Dolly Parton to The Messiah. Music flows in our home during the Christmas season. It does my heart good to see the boxes to collect toys for kids in need in every grocery store, drug store, and almost any place where people gather. And don’t you love the smiling Salvation Army bell ringers. One I saw last night was singing carols in front of Walgreens. And, of course, in our home Christmas is a warm family time. My whole family, small though it is, twelve people ranging in age from six to seventy-three gather for good food and gifts. Before the bountiful dinner, my dear husband always reads the Christmas story about the greatest gift ever given.

I love the story of Mary, so young probably only about fifteen, telling the man she loves that she is pregnant. And young Joseph, probably not more than twenty himself, loving her so much and believing the angel that yes, his betrothed though with child, is still a virgin. How both may have been shunned by their families, but Joseph stepped up like a man and took his beloved Mary for his wife. How they walked to Bethlehem together. Despite tradition, I’m sure young Joseph couldn’t afford a donkey. How Joseph lay down his tunic for his bride-to-be and there on the dirty floor of a manure-stinking barn delivered God’s own son. Can you think of a more lowly birth for the King of heaven and earth? What a picture to show that He came not to be served but to serve. Only the Creator God could imagine such a birth.

Christmas is our time to rejoice, worship, and give. Let us make the most of the time until The One born so lowly comes again—only this time as King of Kings and Lord of Lords in all His splendor and glory.

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