How is it already Christmas Eve? I feel like it ought to still be March 2008 rather than the dawn of 2009.
It’s been particularly difficult to get into the Holiday spirit this season for a number of reasons. To begin with, we started planning Christmas emails in August so I’ve been talking about the Holidays at work for four months. We also recorded a Christmas CD through church this year, so I’ve been singing Christmas songs since early in the summer. On top of that, we moved right in the middle of December, so decorating the old place seemed pointless and decorating the new place would require a state of unpacked I have yet to reach. To sum up, I’m under-decorated for and overexposed to Christmas this year.
I guess that’s why Christmas snuck up on me this time around. I’m excited about it, and looking forward to tonight and tomorrow, but also really excited to get back to celebrating more than Jesus’ birth. I feel like we have a tendency to celebrate a Talledaga Nights’ version of Christianity this time of year. As an adult, I find the adult version of Jesus much more interesting. If people sat around on my birthday and just told the story of my birth over and over again, I might start to feel they hadn’t noticed all the cool stuff that’s happened since that day.
So…Happy Birthday, Jesus! Thanks for all you’ve done, all you’re doing and all that you’re going to do.
My challenge to you is to spend some time this holiday season reflecting on the life, rather than just the birth, of Jesus. It’s a pretty fantastic, awe-inspiring, humbling-for-the-rest-of-us existence. He’s the reason for the season, after all.
This is my favorite prophesy of the Christmas story…from Isaiah 53:2-5
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
Of course, if you’re going for traditional, this one (straight out of Luke 2) works, as well.