I am listening to Christmas music. Why? To get myself more and more awake to the true meaning of Christmas.
Maybe I’m trying to counter what the stores (on-line and downtown) say—that things under a tree will make people happy.
I totally bought into what the culture fed me when I was a young adult. Get more, give more, get happier. Of course, things did not make them or me happier.
As I write this, know that we do have gifts, wrapped and ready for opening. We have a decorated tree and more lights outside.
We have a nativity scene to help us remember the reason for the season. I need all the props I can get.
Can you hear my internal conflict?
Gifts under the tree. Meager compared to the gifts, hand-crafted, that God sent to me. He gave me Jesus. I carry Him in my heart.
Not only that, God gives me the sky, trees, river, mountains, stars. Everything in nature. He gives it to me to look upon, to walk upon, to enjoy daily. He gives it to you, too.
And no one can out-give God.
He gave the world Joseph, Mary, baby Jesus. Many of us know the story, but I read it again and again during the Christmas season.
Today is Sunday, and I was privileged this morning to teach the younger children the Christmas story. How blessed I was to be in their company. Children. They are charming and real. The Spirit of Jesus was there among us. Along with joy and love and laughter. A sweet time.
Each child, eager to learn, with a heart opening like a rose.
I admit we were in our own world, but our caravan was not lost. Conversations were focused, and characters found in the Jesus-story were described and acted out. It was simple. It was beautiful.
I am not naïve. I am aware of so many who ache with loneliness, illness, depression, neediness. It’s nearby and all over the world. People are starving in so many ways, especially for food, touch, listening ears, eye contact, time with another person.
But please hear me: for 30 minutes, in Children’s Church, I saw Jesus in children.
He’s probably in front of you and me every day. He’s quiet but consistently there. He looks like love. These children made me forget about the passing of time.
Great fun to slow down, look for love and find it. Maybe I’m having more fun than anyone else! It’s quiet, but great fun.
I don’t apologize for it. It has taken me a long time to see, to find this joy.
It was here long before I was born, and it’ll be here long after I’m gone.
I applaud Jesus. He came, and He was the gift the world had been waiting for. He is still the gift for those of us who recognize Him.
And I believe He will come again.
I’m leaning away from Walmart and heading toward a stable and baby—the gift to shepherds, wise men, and me.
P.S. One of my readers told me last month that she does not comment, but she reads my blogs slowly and carefully, that she likes the way I write. I was/am so touched. Know that I value each reader, whether you comment or not. Some of us ponder, some of us comment. I thank each of you for being there. God bless.
Figurine of the Nativity Scene, photographed by Rebecca Bland, December 22, 2019