Once again I received a simple email from my mother and it prompted a post to my blog. It seems that emails from mom have this tendency. I love it mom, don’t stop sending them and thanks for always reading what I write here. Anyhow, I watched and listened to this video several times on Friday when I first received it. The words are powerful. The meaning is clear. The added visual of video multiplies the power of the words by hundreds. As I listened over and over again, I visited the mental images in my mind of that first Christmas. Tears fill my eyes when I think of the humility surrounding our Lord’s birth. Tears stream down my cheeks when I think about the lack of fan fare and attention given to the first Christmas each passing year.
In our busy lives full of somewhere to go, something waiting to be done, and not enough time to do the other things we would rather have done, Christmas comes and goes. It’s not just Christmas Day anymore, it’s a season, and it rushes past every single year. Many folks would say the season is too long, others would say it goes by too fast, still others would rather not be bothered with the whole thing. No matter where you look or listen, after Halloween, and certainly once the Thanksgiving feast has been devoured, Christmas is everywhere. You can’t miss it. Really though, how many millions of people miss Christmas every single year?!? Listen to the music playing in the malls or on the radio, it approaches the subject, but mostly skirts around the meaning of Christmas. It’s not even called Christmas music anymore in a lot of cases, it’s holiday music. Please.
While many have already complained about radio stations playing Christmas music or networks carrying the Christmas Specials on TV, I am taking it all in. I never want to miss Christmas. I never want to let a day in this season go by without visiting why. I am sure I am in the minority but this day, this season isn’t long enough. It should be long enough so that no one misses Christmas and the why. Go ahead, get caught up in the hustle and bustle of these weeks. Buy into the hype, the retailers this and that, the crowds out spending money on others, many of whom do so to feel better about themselves, get all you can get. OR …
… You can also just steal away for a few minutes with your loved one, or on your own, and stand outside in the dark on a crisp, cold, starlit night, and look to the heavens. Imagine it’s the same night sky of that first Christmas Eve. Embrace the chill in the air. Notice the rings of breath escaping your lungs that reflect the low light of night. Think on how you would make your way through the starry night by the light of a star. Listen to the sound of your own breathing in the quiet night and notice how its pace quickens when you put yourself in the shoes of the wise men en route to Bethlehem. Maybe the tunes or words of Away In A Manger or Little Drummer Boy run through your mind. Perhaps just a few minutes have passed, maybe more, but I bet life, the season, slowed down for just a little bit, slowed enough to take in the meaning of Christmas.
See, to me, Christmas doesn’t have to be a long season or a schedule packed with events and places to go, but rather, small moments that never go unnoticed. Moments where you can lose yourself completely in the meaning of Christmas, the satisfaction of giving because you want to, the cozy warmth of sparking lights, soft music, and the mental images you hold of a manger scene from long ago. Lose yourself in the words and the meaning of the Christmas Hymns. It’s the moments that you can escape to the meaning of Christmas or share with your loved ones that ensure you don’t ever miss Christmas. Let it sink in. Soak it in. Enjoy it. Know why. Be better for it. Before you know it the welcoming warmth of these moments will be replaced by the bitter cold winds of January, a reduction of vacation days and paid time off, and the empty space that for a few weeks housed a Christmas tree, beneath which, rested the promise of Christmas morning joy.
As you make your way through this Christmas season, stop, listen, and learn. There’s a lesson in every year. Enjoy the video I have attached here. Don’t forget the real Christmas Story and make sure your children know it too. Unfortunately, but true, as you wait in some line to complete your purchase this year, ask yourself, Where’s the line to see Jesus, because there probably isn’t one. Maybe I will start one. Merry Christmas!