Saturday, December 24, 2011

His Gift to Us.

Tonight, as my family drove home from dinner at a local Indianapolis restaurant, in the violet twilight of the evening…we passed the house that I grew up in.

It was dark enough to not see everything clearly, but light enough to know that it had been painted since I was a little girl. Once upon a time it was white with black accents, now it’s been converted into a caramel brown disaster. My heart ached for the once upon a Christmas time.

And then I saw the most beautiful thing—the two trees that my father had planted in our front yard, two beautiful pines…were decorated with Christmas lights. So many precious memories came flooding back!

JOYJOYJOYYYYY! Merry Christmas JOY! There is nothing more thrilling than those joyous Christmas memories I have of my childhood. My elderly neighbor would take me, during the Christmas season, down to the end of our street to change the light bulbs on the pillars that marked the entrance to our neighborhood, to red and green. My father and I would put lights on the trees we had planted in my adopted brother’s honor. We would get our Christmas tree at the last minute, often times a rather Charlie Brown-esque tree and would wait until Christmas eve to trim it with lights, an assortment of random homemade ornaments and tinsel galore. At the crack of dawn my mother would drag me into my parents bed while I was half asleep and turn on the Urbi et Orbi [the live papal blessing from Rome]. We would…well, I could go on for hours, really.

The point is: Christmas was our thing. We lived Christmas, we breathed Christmas…it was more than just a couple of days off from school or work. It was a way of life. In fact, it was a celebration of life.

His life.

Regardless of the ridiculous traditions we held, or how many times we listened to that one Bing Crosby Christmas album over and over and over…it has always been apparent that this is more than just a time to give gifts. 

This is the season of joy.

Because He chose to be born of a pure and humble woman, choosing to come into the world in the very form of weakness, He showed us what it meant to live. He, in His human nature gave us the ability to understand what it meant for the soul to love, to give, to trust, to respect, to be obedient, to be humble, to be pure…

How can we NOT be joyous while dancing in the Light of His birth! A star is guiding us to find Him wrapped in swaddling clothes, too small to even compare to the very stars that He created. Too small to reach up and touch His own mother’s radiant face. Both divine and human in nature, irresistibly lovely in visage and the Savior of our world.

Today, our Emmanuel was born. Today, in His manger, He accepted the cross.

Today, we were given the most beautiful Christmas present ever offered—Eternal Salvation!

We are LOVED immeasurably! Let us rejoice in His birth! Let us rejoice in this gift of Truth!

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