This month’s topic is “What Christmas Means to Me.”
As a child, Christmas was all about the gifts. Oh, I knew the “true meaning” of Christmas–the celebration of the birth of Jesus–but the anticipation of gifts loomed larger and mightier than anything else. By December 1st I had already made my list. The gifts were the reason I counted the days…hours…until Christmas morning. Gifts kept me on my best behavior for nearly an entire month.
Christmas mornings, I wasn’t thinking about Jesus as I tore down the flight of stairs, racing my siblings to the Christmas tree. My heart was thrilled with the anticipation of discovering the best gift ever…the one that I put three stars beside on my list.
Maybe that’s how most kids are…then and now…but years go by and we mature. Those best gifts of childhood are long broken and have become faint memories.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 1 Corinthians 13:11
Thirty-three years…from the time of Jesus’ birth until His horrific death on a cross…a death intended for the Only One who could take away the sins of the world.
Thirty-three years…about time it took me to mature enough to understand the heart, soul, and true meaning of Christmas–Jesus. THE BEST GIFT EVER.
Christmas. Christ Mas. Christ Mass. Mass is the liturgical celebration of Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary. Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s Mass. Simple. Yet Profound. You can’t have Christmas with out Christ.
At Christmas, believers gather to celebrate God’s gift to the world: the long-awaited Savior. But, in pondering on the fullness of our faith, we should also consider His Passion, Death, and Resurrection. The fullness and wholeness of THE BEST GIFT EVER.
Whether it be Christmas or anytime, God is always waiting for us to come home…to repent our sins and finally accept Him into our hearts, embrace Him as our Savior. He wants us to give our lives to Him.
When we do that, we gain a deep joy in our spirit…oh so deep in our soul…that fills us with peace that no temporal gift can give. Then, in awe, we see with new eyes. We embrace life with the wonder of a child–and finally get the BEST GIVE EVER, the True Gift of Christmas.
While we are living in this tumultuous world, we may not see the Peace on Earth we hope and pray for, but will will gain peace in our souls. We belong to a God who is truly the Lover of our souls. He wants to give us all of the best gifts life can offer. He is the Best Gift Ever. The tree, lights, wrapped gifts, and the yummy food are only extras, trimmings.
So…what does Christmas means to me? The same thing it did when I was a kid–the hope of getting the BEST GIFT EVER.
This Advent season, I will make my requests known. I will pray, seek, and hope. I will be on my best behavior. Then on Christmas Eve, I will rush to the altar of God and I will receive the BEST GIFT EVER.
And now for the writing prompt:
Kristen pulled the woolen blanket around her shoulders and shivered. The ache in her heart was as void as the space under the pathetic tree she got for half-price from the lot next to the gas station after work…the night before Christmas. Bah. Humbug. That’s what she felt like telling everyone at the end of her shift before the store closed for Christmas. She sighed. After all of the gifts were picked up from layaway, everyone at work went home to their families and loved ones.
She slunk lower on the couch. For months, she’d been praying for that special someone to come into her life by Christmastime. Why bother praying now?
Pray. God always hears prayers. A memory from her grandmother returned–Grandma kneeling beside her bed every night when Mom and Dad died in that horrible accident. “Pray,” she would say. “God always hears prayers.”
She doubted, but out of respect for her beloved grandma, Kristen lowered her head and offered one last heartfelt prayer. Please Lord, I know it’s late, but please don’t let me be alone again this Christmas. Send me someone.
A strong wind gust rattled the trailer’s windows. She lifted her head. A light panned across the walls. Her heart raced. Who would come at this time of the night? She pulled back the curtain. Could it be? She rubbed her eyes. Was it?
She gasped! There, coming up her steps was…