25 December 2010
It’s early Christmas morning. Anna-Lee is still nestled all snug in her bed, Allyson & Jeff making the long track from St. Louis, due here in Little Rock about 1:00. Of course I have the fireplace lit-up, the tree too. Abbey is wearing the Christmas collar I purchased this week, all cuddled up by me on the sofa.
It’s a beautiful morning, and I cannot help but think about Christmases past.
Last night, sitting in the midnight service at my church, I couldn’t help but remember the decades of attending this service, especially the first year when my parents decided Mike and I were old enough to stay up late to be there. Goodness, I felt so grown-up. It was a very special milestone in my life.
This morning I’ve had time to remember so many other special memories, like the Christmas Eve night Dad took us out for an evening car ride to see if we could spot Santa up in the sky. We definitely saw him that night, in the sky, and I will never to be convinced otherwise.
Then there was the white flocked tree that Mom so loved back in the late 60s - heavy as a house. One morning it fell on top of brother Mike, ornaments and all. Mom was in a total panic, and I’m almost sure that Dad was laughing as he man-handled the tree off his son. No doubt this was the last year we had a flocked tree.
But no matter the years, no matter the stories, Mom and Dad always made the Christ child the center of our festivities. Our family caroled to the homebound, adopted children and families in need, and we always had an advent wreath and choreographed our own family service each Sunday night. As Dad always said, Christmas was the time to celebrate the birth of a child that would change the world. I will forever be grateful to my mom and dad for such meaningful Christmastime memories.
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:23).
Why would our Creator come as a baby born in a manger in Bethlehem, instead of presenting himself with power and majesty? Why would he make himself into the human flesh, as a man who would live among us, knowing that Jesus would be born to suffer and die?
The answer is love. God became a man embodied in Christ so that we might experience his intimate love and understand the plans he has for us – as children and parents, as friends and neighbors, teachers and mentors, community leaders and activists.
So today we celebrate the incarnation of Jesus – out of flesh born.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:13-14)
Yesterday my friend Kate hung on my door a beautiful handmade letterpress sign made by her. She has extraordinary talent, not to mention the soulful woman that she is and shares so freely with her friends. The message on Kate's sign, now mine, says it all – This Year Give Love. One Size Fits All.
Yes mam, Kate! You are so right. Thank you for the gentle reminder about what Christmas is really about – it’s all about love.
Merry Christmas • Peace on Earth • Salvation and Justice for Humankind! May the Christmas spirit of love to all live among us today and everyday.
Posted by Stacy Sells at 11:22 AM