Christmas, that is. Because of all the wedding planning and the impending move, I didn't even bother to put up Christmas decorations. My classroom? It would have remained undecorated if some of the seniors on the "CCC" (Christmas Cheer Committee) hadn't volunteered to do it. I think I went Christmas shopping for the first time on Saturday. December 19th, that is.
But that isn't what I mean. I almost missed Christmas. What it really means.
My students have heard me often enough get on my soapbox about the commercialism of Christmas and the disgust over what our society has made it. It's like we have this month-long extravaganza celebration, with all the decorating, songs, shopping, parties, cantatas - all for what was supposed to be a commemoration of Jesus' birthday - and it is like we have forgotten to invite Him to all the festivities! And in some cases, not even forgotten, but He is not even allowed to come!
Did we forget it is called CHRISTmas for a reason???
But I digress (the soapbox again). I almost missed it. I think this morning is maybe the first time I had a chance to really reflect on why we are celebrating. I got up to do my quiet time and was ready to rush through it because I had to get to Stop N Shop, Costco, Ulta, Dollar Tree, Gap Outlet...
Then I felt this gentle nudge in my soul to just slow down. Stop. Reflect. I was becoming all of the people I get so angry with - the ones who are doing all the celebrating and not keeping the focus on why. Or I should say Who, really.
God's perfect gift to a humanity doomed to bondage. Sin. Evil. Themselves. He came...not just to stay a baby. That was only the start. He came to be a Savior. For a creation He loved dearly and who desperately needed saving. Not just for 'a creation' but for me. I was doomed to bondage. Sin. Evil. Myself. I desperately needed saving.
And He did it. He came. Gave up heaven and shrunk Himself to fit inside human skin. To die a horrific death so I could be free from bondage. Sin. Evil. Myself. To have friendship with God. So I could be a clean, pure daughter in right-standing before her Daddy. Forever.
That is the miracle we should be celebrating. What kind of God does this??? Not on a whim but as a result of an intricately, meticulously designed plan, one invented even before light appeared on the horizon of the universe and the first bite of the apple was taken.
Because He saw me. He saw you. And to Him, we were worth it.
"Long lay the world, in sin and error pining
Til He appeared, and the soul felt its worth..."
"A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn..."
Oh, what an amazing day we are celebrating. What an amazing God. He came. "Immanuel." God with us. God with us still.
(Picture and lyric inspiration borrowed from Or So She Says)
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