Friday, December 19, 2008

It's Christmas - Part One

Can I be perfectly honest today? I’m fighting some holiday blahs today.

I went into one of our local stores ready to Christmas shop at lunch and was accosted with some holiday tunes. It wasn’t joy to the world or hark the herald or anything like that. One was all about “give me more stuff” then the next one was that plus ten.
I almost had to run out. Christmas is so much joy. In my heart I have the picture of a young girl, probably 20 years younger than I am today, a young man not much older than her. In their arms they hold a baby that will literally change the entire course of history. This realization is huge. It is Emanuel. He is “God with us.” This event is my entire life’s course. Who I am, what I do all comes back to a pivotal moment of Christ coming here.

This is God folks. He came here and lived the same type of life we live. People lied to Him. People hurt Him. People made Him laugh and sing. He stubbed toes… had colds. He experienced rudeness and all the other human stuff that can so get to us.

So today I am fighting this holiday blah… I want so much to hit pause today. I wanted, no needed, to stop and sit here and grab this perspective back. My joy to the world is not going to come in a box this year. And as much as I love so many of you… it’s not coming from you either. Either my joy is coming from the celebration of that event thousands of years ago… and the horror and triumph that followed it years later… either it is, or it isn’t.
And today I caught myself in the isn’t.
So in case you, like me, needed a little reminder I guess I felt the need to take us all back.

Go back to the quiet…the chill in the air… the lowing of cattle or oinking of pigs… see the star… see Mary and Joseph… see the angels and shepherds.
But most importantly… see the baby. He is God - God with us. Years from this moment He will die a cruel death for me… for You. He will raise from the dead and bring us new life.

But tonight, this night in our memory, He is a baby.

This is the beginning so let us remember.

Emmanuel - God with us