06 December 2018
Where Are You Christmas ~ Believing IS Seeing
Happy Christmas Dear Reader,
When searching for Christmas as children we begin with belief. We believe that there will be presents in the morning. We write the note to Santa. We may tell him our wishes at the mall. We hang up our stockings by the chimney with care.
It is not until there are other influences that we begin to doubt that belief. We ask questions and seek answers. We demand more sight and exercise less faith. What is unfortunate is when we do the same thing with all of Christmas. We see the Magi as decorations around our tree. The journey to Bethlehem becomes a Claymation story in our minds and we add in a cute little dog. The story in Luke’s Gospel becomes something the Linus quotes. The songs become background noise to our shopping.
When we forget that every line of the story is real and that it impacts us in daily life, it is little wonder that we have difficulty with finding Christmas. By now every year for three decades my tree has been up, there are gifts with clues under it, and I am planning festive events for the season. This year I can do none of that but this does not mean that Christmas will elude me.
It is in believing that Christmas is there that I will find it. It is still finding the beauty and wonder in my four-inch LED tree because every moment I look at it I am reminded of the star and what it did for the Magi. It is pondering how to be creative in showing others that I love and value them even though I cannot buy gifts.
It is hearing every Christmas hymn as if I am experiencing for the first time by taking in the words. All the hope is there if we will embrace it. The reality of Jesus in the stable in Bethlehem is there to be the promise of the Father to all of us. It is only through belief that we get there. It is only our believing that gives us the sight we need to find peace and joy in it.
Instead of the distractions of gift boxes, bubble lights, and fruit cake, I have a stocking-less stocking hook. My only real decoration is a sign that reads “believe.” I still have my Santa hat. I have my Salvation Army prayer shawl (most you would eroniously call it a scarf). Mostly though, I have my belief.
I have my faith that the words to Little Town of Bethlehem are real. As I draw closer to the celebration of that moment, I must recall that the hopes and fears of all the years are met in belief that Christmas is about a God who would rather die than live without me. It is my belief that will carry me through the absence of the things that bring me delight. It is my delight in the Child of God who enters the world for my reclamation that will carry me through the absence of my Children.
Where are you Christmas? You are in the heart that believes because that becomes the heart that sees. It is in this belief that God imparts to us his blessings and peace. You Dear Reader are part of that blessing and peace for me. You are my precious gift when you tell me your stories of finding Christmas.
O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie.
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light.
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.
For Christ is born of Mary,
And, gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wond'ring love.
O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to men on earth.
How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is giv'n!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of his heav'n.
No ear may hear his coming;
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still
The dear Christ enters in.
O holy child of Bethlehem
Descend to us we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born in us today.
The Morning Stars together
The great glad tidings tell
Oh, come to us abide with us
Our Lord Immanuel
Wishing you joy in the journey,
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
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