It seems like the majority of our lives are filled with “remembering” things. Especially around this time of year.
Did you remember to get all those end of the year projects done? Did you remember to get all the holiday cards out to everyone you know? Did you remember to buy all the presents that you wanted to buy for everyone? Did you remember to pay those bills? Did you remember to…
It’s the same thing that happens every year around Christmas. We remember everything that we wanted to do for Christmas, buy everything, send everything, but we forget why we’re celebrating it. It’s as if we should just start calling the holiday Presentmas, or Partymas, or Debtmas.
I’m not saying that people don’t know that Christmas represents the day that Jesus Christ was born. I’m just saying that, once the season pulls around (which gets earlier and earlier every year due to retail mind-plucking), most of what people do has nothing to do with the upcoming celebration of Christ’s birth, or, Christmas. It’s about buying in excess, making sure one person’s house is decorated prettier than the next, partying in excess with the convenience of Christmas as an excuse, and when Christmas Eve finally pulls around, how many of those Christians come out on Holy days flock to the Churches and Thank God for His only begotten son.
In short, the holidays bother me. I’m not saying that I’m totally innocent either. I went shopping and bought a few things here and there, what I could afford, nothing on credit. No, I haven’t had any spare change to toss to the Salvation Army bell ringers, but I know that there have been quite a few people that have benefited from my kindness. I decorated our apartment but it’s not overdone and there are plenty of apartments that are far more flashy than ours. We haven’t had a party but we did enjoy an afternoon dinner with some friends from a church and a friend from our complex…just because. Sorry, no alcohol. Tea, Tang, Water, and Coffee. We sent out a few Christmas cards and have a few more to send over the next couple days. Other than that, the season, thus far, has been mostly relaxed and calm…as it should be. After all, we’re about to celebrate the birth of Christ….again!! And Christ represents joy and peace, not stress and chaos.
I decorated our apartment the other day, which is at least half the size of the house that we used to live in. I could have sworn that I packed up the Christmas tree when we moved, but, alas, it wasn’t in the storage closet when I pulled out all the Christmas stuff. Perhaps we sold it, thinking that we would get a new one this year. Originally, we weren’t going to be here for Christmas, as we were going to spend time in Texas with my side of the family, so we decided not to get a tree and worry about not getting to enjoy it anyway. Plus, we don’t have enough space, and it is such a hassle to put up, decorate, then take down again…not to mention the dangers involved with the cat.
But, I really wanted to put some Christmas cheer into this place, maybe put a little bit of a smile on some faces around here, so I went along with an idea that my wife saw, making a wall tree out of garland. I found the most special ornaments we had, ones that have been following all of us through our lives, ones we had made, and ones that were given to us, and put only those on, instead of all the regular colored ball ornaments that are so fragile that break if the wind blows on them wrong. I obviously couldn’t put our angel on top of the tree, but she’s out and lit up, along with our nativity set, our stockings are hung under the kitchen bar, and a few other Christmas decorations are out. It’s simple…but pretty. And the coolest thing is that during dinner that night, we must have stayed at the table for a good half hour after we were done eating just talking about all the ornaments and decorations, remembering where they came from and what they meant to us, telling each other about them…for the ump-teenth time while Christmas music played softly in the background. Sounds like a fake, made-for-t.v. night, right? It’s not…but it’s a nice night to remember.
It’s important to remember…remember that, if not for Jesus Christ, there would be no meaning to life at all, no Hope, no Faith, no Love. There would be nothing to look forward to hereafter, there would be nothing to be thankful for now. Everyday would just be another day, but with Christ, we have hope for peace and joy, and a promise of it as well. Remember that God gave us the greatest gift ever….His son. Jesus gave us Hope, Faith and Love, and the greatest is Love, which is the greatest gift we should be passing on during Christmas, all throughout our lives in fact. Remember…He loves you, all of you, whether you remember Him or not.
The song I’m picking this week is a song that my mom and I really love by Mark Schultz. She once had the opportunity to meet him when my brother hosted him during a concert he played at a church in Texas many years ago. She brought me home an autographed CD of his, which I then gave to my tattoo artists, who had just been saved and had turned from a life of chaos to Christianity. I would have loved to have made a video to this song, but our new internet service is so slow that it takes twenty-four years to upload anything anymore. ~Dear Lord, please help the company we use that says they offer the fastest service be able to provide some faster service soon~
~Dear Lord, Jesus…Thank you, once again, for all of your countless blessings this week. most especially for your guidance, strength, and faith we’ve faced stressors and struggles. Please watch over Mama-T’s surgery tomorrow, see that she sings all the way through and comes out singing as well, so that she can continue to sing and glorify you. Please watch over all of us in our travels and please wrap your arms around the world to help them find those gifts that you’ve given to us, Hope, Faith, and Love, that the world may start to become less chaotic and stressful, within their own lives and towards others. Lord, all things can be done through you, which means peace, joy, and healthy outcomes can be obtained through you, so it is that which I seek for all of those I love and all those around me, Lord. It is in your name, I pray. Amen~