Perhaps it is a sentiment of many Dayspring and Hallmark greeting cards to define Christmas as “the most wonderful day of the year.” For a believer in Jesus Christ, the day is one of the most meaningful: celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior. But perhaps the most significant holiday is actually celebrated on Easter Sunday as we recall the sacrifice that Christ made in dying on a cross for our sins such that we may have everlasting life. No sentiments are implied or required: the truth is that He came to save, the truth is that He is Lord of all!
Isaiah 9:6-7New King James Version (NKJV)
6 For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
I can almost hear the victorious singing of Handel’s Messiah in the background as I read these words. Such is the confidence that we have, the joy we know as believers in Jesus Christ!
Many days when my life is a “nothing burger,” these words are just about all that I have for comfort. My Christmas and Easter in 2015 were not filled with either the people or activities of a typical Christian holiday. There were no church services dressed in better finery, homemade treats enjoyed in the basement afterwards with the dearest of friends, or family dinners filled with laughter and much feasting. The décor around here was the same as it is every day. I could go on with all that was cut due to the ravages of severe illness but I won’t. Perhaps you get the idea Gentle Reader?
I spent each of these holidays staring into nothingness for much of it yet also with nothing to distract me from seeking the face of my Lord. My prayerful meditation was uninterrupted and peaceful. Warm, loving glances came from my beloved Steve whose presence is one of the greatest gifts I could ever ask for in my life. Even our furry friend Elle is always a special delight with the gentlest of brown eyes, the softest of fur coats. I did get somewhat of a break during the middle of the day on Christmas in which we connected with family via Skype and the phone, MacGyvered a tasty meal of sorts, and opened some sweet gifts for our eighth Christmas together as husband-and-wife. Yeah God for special moments like these!
In two days we will continue and conclude as many of these traditions as we can in a gathering with my husbands adult children and their spouses. They graciously will attend to the mold/fragrance-avoidance practices needed for me to host them in our home. Since it may be my only time to see them when they are in town from their respective States and countries, I do pray that I may be able to participate in every moment available. They are wonderful young adults and I do love them so! I have simplified our menu and Steve has begun the preparations. We have spent extra time finding special gifts that would be meaningful; one of them may even serve temporarily as a different kind of “Christmas tree!” We’ll see. I still have to pull that one together! Eeeek!
So if you too have changed things up a bit for this Christmas season, know that you are not alone. I understand completely. It’s o.k.! This holiday along with Easter in the Spring have nothing to do with Santa and the white bunny carrying chocolate eggs. These special days have everything to do with a decision we each make in our hearts about Who we will serve as Lord over our lives. Where have you placed your trust dear friends? With a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we will have a celebration that will never be limited to a date on the calendar.
And with that decision made to follow Christ, every day will be a different kind of adventure that transcends the moment into all of eternity. Yeah, I’m on board for that one. Will you be along too? JJ