Yesterday in church someone sang a song titled, “Be It Unto Me,” which was about Mary and her commitment to God in the face of such amazing adversity (the virgin conception of Christ.) When the song concluded the church was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop on the carpeted floor, on the overhead projectors was a video image of someone portraying Mary looking adoringly and amazingly at the face of her newborn and as if on cue, a newborn infant in the congregation let out one singular wail that simply commanded everyone’s attention – as if to say – Remember Me. Remember that I came. Remember that I was not a story. I was God. Made man. I was born a baby. I AM the King of Kings. And yet I laid in a lowly manager. And … I did this for YOU. It was – to me anyway – totally timed by the Holy Spirit and I had a hard time not breaking out in tears.
Christmas has always been important to me. Not the commercialized celebration – but taking the time to meditate and remember what God has done and why He has done it and being humbled that He’s been so gracious to allow me to be a part of it all. That is the miracle of Christmas. Not the virgin birth. That wasn’t a miracle to God. That was a miracle to us – but not to God – nothing is a miracle to God! Not the Word made Flesh. That was a miracle to us. But not to God. That was a sacrifice that God made for us. Not a miracle. The miracle is in the gift of salvation and the simple fact that – through Christ – my relationship with God is restored and I can enjoy Him FOREVER. That is what He created me for – according to that good, old, faithful Westminster Catechism! Right? How else can you enjoy God FOREVER if you aren’t in relationship with him? You can’t! Simply put. Thank you God, for your gift of Jesus. And thank you, Jesus, for being obedient to your Father. We are all completely undeserving.
Do I believe that the way most Christians celebrate Christmas is really biblical? No. Do I really care anymore? No. I don’t really think God cares either. Remember… if you care/dare to anyway dear legalists….that even JESUS HIMSELF celebrated cultural celebrations that were not instituted by God but instead by the Church. Hanukkah anyone? Jesus went to the Festival of Lights and that was not a “Biblical Feast” by any means. God has never condemned His people for celebrating good things that are a part of their own culture. And really – people who write long diatribes over why Christmas is or is not Biblical seem lost in a sea of doctrinal translation and their theories are full of holes. All doctrine is full of holes. It always will be. Because it’s always man made and therefore always faulty.
Tomorrow morning we will wake up and watch the children unwrap their gifts and tear into their stockings. This Christmas we decided, as a family, to take a year off from our traditional large Pressler Family celebration. Our little celebration is a bit tempered this year – not as joyful – family wise – as it has been in the past. There was no Christmas tree, no lights outside the house, no parties to attend except the one we hosted, and no family visitations. Royce and I did not get gifts for each other, nor anyone else in the family. And we only spent a very limited budget on the children. But there is a time and a season and a purpose for everything under Heaven. I trust that next year, Christmas will be different, as far as our little family goes. It will be better – one way or another.
So – even though, on one hand, it has been a bit mundane as far as household ambiance goes – I have spent more time this season pondering God’s gift to man through the birth of Christ than any other Christmas before. And sharing my thoughts with the kids. And that can’t be a bad thing. I think that’s why it’s been so sentimental to me this year – and why I’m enjoying this season so much.
Well, my brownies just came out of the oven. The rolled cookie dough just went into the fridge to chill for an hour. The popcorn we are taking in the car with us is almost finished popping and the kids are getting their shoes on – and we are heading out the door for our annual Christmas Light/House Decoration Scavenger Hunt. The kids love looking at everyone’s Christmas lights and we’ve put it off and saved it for tonight.
Merry Christmas everyone!