It’s Christmas…All over the world…
Except in my world Christmas usually comes barreling through with lights, holiday music, political correctness about how to greet someone during the month of December, undisguised materialism, and awkward office parties. This year our house is decidedly bare of Christmas decor. No tree, no lights, and only the occasional iTunes Christmas music selection. We’re waiting on a cold snap in the weather that will bring the temperature down to a balmy 85 degrees. It doesn’t feel much like Christmas.
Which begs the question what does Christmas really mean to us? Does it mean tradition? Does it mean decorations? Does it mean family? Those are all nice and good and decent things…but if that is what Christmas means to you or I then we’ve missed it. We’ve missed Christ. We’ve missed the baby that stands front and center of our heirloom nativity on the mantle. We’ve missed it.
Jesus Christ, God-child. Son of God and Son of Man. Born to die and overcome death, hell, the grave and our sin. What wondrous love is this?
Here, in this lack, where the scent of pine is non-existent and snow is something never experienced by a Liberian and only seen in pictures from back home I hope to reclaim Christmas. This year I will ponder in silence and without fanfare the arrival in human skin of our blessed Lord. Donkey ride, dusty roads, Mary- the girl who birthed God, Jesus the child who fulfilled the words of the law and the prophets, shepherds in fields abiding, a great light to signal the greatest of Lights in human form come to dwell for the sake of you and I. Born for us who were dead in sin.
Next year I will pull around me every good and blessed tradition and cook a feast for friends and family to remind us of all the good and sacred gifts that come down from the Father of Lights in whom there is no shadow or turning away. I will line my mantle with my stored away heirloom nativity, but it will mean something very different. I can sense it. I can feel it here in the midst of nowhere Liberia.
Christmas has come and I will ever more be changed.
In abundance or deficiency my song will ever ring the same.
“Glory be to God on high and to the earth be peace, goodwill henceforth from God to man begin and never cease” ~ Andrew Peterson.