It is Christmas time once again. The "season" starts earlier and earlier every year. By the time my kids are parents, Black Friday sales will probably start some time after the fourth of July. I wont lie, I get a little wrapped up in it. I love this time of year and it is so hard not to get overly excited about it. I decorated much earlier this year. I started working on the gifts much earlier as well (partially because my idiot self decided to hand make every one's gifts this year... stupid... ) and I began planning our Christmas dinner menu earlier this year too. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the "fun" of it all and totally forget what we're really celebrating.
I've been trying this year to make sure the kids understand what Christmas is all about. It's Jesus' "birthday". That is what we're celebrating. Not Santa (although we do the whole Santa bit in our home), not gifts, not lights and toys and cheer. We are celebrating the birth of our Lord. It IS what Christmas is about. I realized today though that I wasn't doing a good enough job of getting through to the kids when a commercial came on and the music was fun and there was ribbon flying and people smiling and dancing and my three year old daughter screams and points, "Look, Mom! There's Christmas!"
I tried to explain to her what she was watching and reminded her that Christmas is a celebration of Jesus being born. I know she's young and that she'll get it eventually but if I don't start now, it may get lost along the way.
I started thinking though about the Christmas story. I have often read the story of Jesus' birth from the gospels in the Bible. I have often tried picturing what the stable looked like that night. What the town of Bethlehem looked like back them. Today though, my thoughts took an interesting turn. Maybe because I'm a mother now or maybe because one of my children is still a baby. I'm not sure.
I've wondered before about what Jesus was like as a baby. As an infant. Did he cry? Did he get fussy when he was teething? Did he get restless at night and keep Mary awake? My guess is yes. Although he was God come down, He was also human. And human babies cry and they get hungry and they stay awake at all the wrong times. I came to this assumption a long time ago.
However, today, my thoughts turned to Mary. May I just say that she had to have been one incredible woman! Not only was she seen by God as fit to carry his Son and raise Him (which in and of itself is the greatest honor any woman could receive) but she traveled and went through all kinds of emotional upheaval during her pregnancy.
Thankfully, God also came to Joseph and told him what was going on. That poor man must have been going crazy too. Even though he was most likely a righteous man himself, hearing that your fiance was pregnant with the child of God had to be pretty tough to swallow. He was planning on dumping her. Until God told him what he was to do.
The true meaning of Christmas:
May you all remember the real reason for this "season". I pray that you are able to accept and receive the most wonderful gift that will ever be offered to you. The gift of salvation through the Son of God, Jesus Christ. If you don't know what I'm talking about or would like to know more, please feel free to leave me your email address and I will gladly respond! Merry Christmas.