December 15, 2008

What's Up With Christmas?

This time of year can become so ovewhelming to some people. Some of you may be SO busy it's just not any fun anymore. Some may love the hustle and bustle of decorating, shopping for gifts and parties, etc... But some of you don't have much going on. You listen to all your friends or associates talk of plans with their friends, or going home for Christmas to be with their families.

Some of you are alone. Maybe you lost a loved one. Maybe there was a divorce. Maybe your parents got a new job and you had to move away from dear friends. Maybe family members moved away and you can't travel to them. Either way, Christmas just isn't the same. Maybe you just wonder what all the fuss is about and can't wait till things just get back to "normal," or what's normal for you. Maybe you're just tired of it.

I almost let myself get caught up in that mindset this year. My parents are both gone. My sister's over 500 mi. away with no intention of coming home. Her 'kids' have their own families. My health has been bad, so I can't travel. Oh, yeah...I could have had lots of reasons to be sad. But ya know...I'm not! The reason why might surprise you. Read on... :-)

The reason is the same reason Christmas started to begin with! No. Its not Santa. Though St. Nicholas was a pretty cool guy, so I've heard. But, I've also heard that he gave the way he did, for the same reason I've decided to have a great Christmas!

You may have all heard the saying, "Jesus Is the Reason for the Season." But do you know why?? It's so amazing!

Yeah, I know. There's zillions of different religions out there and they've all got their own story. But consider this one for at least a moment...

God makes a planet with all these beautiful plants, animals, and His most glorious creation, people on it. Then the people get in trouble.

They're hurting, scared, and He sees their lives are so far away from the blessings and fellowship that He intended for them to experience. He loves them SO much! He's GOT to do something to help them! But what? He's this great big powerful God! He tried just talking to them on a mountain once, but just the sound of His Voice scared them SO much, they begged another man (Moses) to go up the mountain and talk for them!

So, He found a way. He decided the only way to talk them, to help, to let them know just how much He loved them, was to become one of them. To leave all the royal splendor of Heaven and be born as a Human of the most helpless of creatures. So He picked two special parents, and He came...he was born...and He grew up...facing all the junk we deal with here that never touched Him in Heaven. The Scripture says He was tested in everything that we were and that He is touched with our feelings of weakness and sickness. Just because He made us in the first place, then He came and became one of us, He knows what you're going through...and He cares!

Yes, I know. There are lots of views of who (or even what) God might be. But, honestly, I believe that this simple story has been so complicated and confused, added to and even sometimes lost under the tinsel and the bows, because it IS so simple...and so beautiful.

I guess there's something in all of us that wants to feel confidant and "make it on our own", or be "the master of our own destiny." But I can't help but wonder, if deep down, sometimes, when the room's quiet at night, you wonder if there isn't someone out there...bigger, smarter, and more powerful than you, that you can turn to. Someone who truly loves you for YOU, in spite of, and can maybe even help you with your short-comings. Maybe you seem confidant on the outside, but deep down, you wish you could do things differently....maybe you wish your life was different. Would True, unconditional Love make a difference?

If you're life is like anyone in this letter, try asking Jesus to reveal Himself to you. Just talk to Him when you're alone. Ask Him to come in and show you His Love...ask Him to change your life. He will. And just maybe, for you, this will be the Best Christmas Ever!