by Jenn Webster
A nice little piece for Christmas.
|A tree has been cut down and is now being taken home to be decorated. There is lots of shopping to be done for those that we love on our gift lists. The children have already made their lists and they are now waiting for Santa Claus to arrive with his reindeer and sleigh. Their parents and other grown-ups are getting ready for this most special time of the year with parties and other gatherings. And yes, there are greeting cards to be sent, whether they are homemade or store-bought. Families, friends, and loved ones are coming in from near and far. And then, after all of the trees have been decorated, the presents wrapped, the greeting cards sent, and all of the hugs and kisses have been exchanged, the time has come for the warmth and joy of the celebration to begin.
Christmas Eve is a more beautiful night; Everything is so very hushed and still. The children are all asleep, quietly awaiting the arrival of Santa. The grown-ups trim the final ornaments of the trees, and then they quietly pause and reflect on what they had done this past year and what they could achieve in the year to come. The couples, too, whether they are married or not, embrace this very special night, sharing their love for one another while being under the mistletoe. Christmas Eve is such a romantic time for them…
And then, there is the most beautiful morning of all time: Christmas morning. All of the children are awake, too excited to sleep anymore, racing down the stairs to see what Santa had left them. Their parents and other grown-ups are awake as well, exchanging gifts while couples exchange theirs while still being under the mistletoe! And then, every family everywhere hug and kiss and wish each other a very Merry Christmas.
And then, the sun has set on Christmas Day, and the time has come for the big Christmas dinner that families everywhere have been planning for weeks. They sit down and enjoy the most incredible meal that they have ever enjoyed or ever will enjoy. Just think: A dinner of a ham or turkey with all the trimmings: Mashed potatoes, gravy, pumpkin pie, cake, everything! And then, afterward, you would become just too stuffed to do anything, and then tiredness sets in, and then, with Christmas now over, or so one thinks it’s over, you would retire to bed. But Christmas itself is not really just over: The season is only the beginning.
Yes, Christmas is a holiday, but it is so very much more than just that: It is a feeling in one’s heart, so much so that it should not just be celebrated with feeling for one day: We should always have that feeling all throughout the year, long after all of the trees have been taken down, the presents opened and the decorations put away. In this current time when division has become the norm rather than the exception, I have this certain powerful feeling that we really and truly need this kind of Christmas feeling a lot more now than ever before in our entire lives.
And for a very good reason: You see, over 2,000 years ago, the Lord God sent an angel named Gabriel to announce to a virgin named Mary that she is to take on the greatest task of her life: She is to give birth to a Savior who would save all of mankind for all of us. Both Mary and Joseph know of the incredible burdens that they would have to face, but nevertheless, they have to obey this very important order: The order of delivering a Son who would deliver every one of us for all of mankind. Instead of all of the rooms of Bethlehem in which they were full, Mary and Joseph gave birth to a Son in a manger. Then, the angel announced this glorious news to the shepherds who were watching the sheep at night, and then they will travel to see Mary and Joseph and the Baby, and then they would tell everyone what they have seen.
"And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. 'Don’t be afraid!' he said. 'I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.'
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
'Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.'
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, 'Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.'" (Luke 2:6-15, NLT)
Christmas is so very much more than just a simple holiday. It is the birthday of the One who took our place of punishment for our sins to save each and every one of us. And if you want to know about this person in whom I am talking about, that person goes by the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of our Lord God. That is why this holiday is called Christmas.
And so, this Christmas, please do not ever think about the division that we are facing right now; Just try and do your best to honor this very special season to the very best of your ability. But please also remember the real, true reason why this holiday is called Christmas: It is the birthday of a Man who would grow into the Person who would save us all from the power of the Devil and would gloriously bring us one day to that beautiful place where angels sing. Let us hope that sometime next year, there would be a lot less division and a lot more love.
Merry Blessed Christmas to one and all.
© 2019 Jenn Webster