Monday, December 7, 2009

‘Tis the Season, Part II

I am a traditionalist. I like repetition, continuity, knowing what to expect. I won’t have that this year. But the reality is that, even if Namibians celebrated Christmas exactly as we do at home, it wouldn’t be the same. But draw back, look at the big picture. It is not the traditions alone that are special, it is time spent with family and friends that makes the holiday season fun and exciting. Most people stop there, with reminding themselves that Christmas is not about gifts and decorations and parties, and that people are more important. That’s a step in the right direction, just not far enough. Even time spent with loved ones can distract us from the real reason for our celebration.
I know you know the story, but we can never hear it enough. The Son of God humbled Himself to become a part of our world. He was born a tiny baby, precious, helpless, and dependent. He lived life on earth, knew humanity, our struggles, joys, and pain. Jesus Christ became a servant to others. He saw firsthand how sinful and flawed we are, but He still chose to die for us. He chose; nobody forced Him, He did it out of love greater than we can imagine. He took our punishment, in order that we might be saved from our consequences and be able to have an eternal relationship with Him. He would have done it for any one of us.

It all started with a baby, born on this day.

If someone who didn’t know what Christmas was looked at your life during the holidays- how you spend your time, what you say, your behavior- what would they see? I am ashamed to say that I am usually stressed about buying the right gifts and fitting the celebrations into our schedule and food and decorations… I could go on. I get so caught up in celebrating Christ’s birth that I forget I am to reflect Him.
Being away from home for the holidays is so hard. I miss my family and friends more, and I know they miss us. It is not lost on us that we are blessed to be able to say that; many people can’t. But, being away from everything we are accustomed to has challenged me (Josh, too, but I won’t speak for him here). I want to celebrate Jesus without being distracted by things that really aren’t important. I want to be a light, to reflect Him to others. I want to laugh and cry with joy and praise for a Creator that loves me so much that He saved me from my sins. On Christmas, our Savior was born, and that’s more than enough to celebrate.


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