Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Love Wrapped With Light

Remember playing with a Lite Brite? You could pick out your design and add the little lights by punching them through the paper. I loved this as a child. I would fill this little gadget full and turn off the light in my room and watch it light up! Think back to how magical this was as a child. Think of the joy. We are to let our Light shine bright. Christmas Day, the day we celebrate the birth of our Savior, is the perfect day to allow our Light glow bright.  

I wake this morning as my husband is driving home from Chicago. My son is just down the hall and Daisy is wrapped up tight laying next to me. My thoughts turn to my Savior and I say, "Happy Birthday, Jesus".

I wonder. Just how do they celebrate His birth in heaven? Are the angels singing? Is all of heaven a glow? Is there dancing? Just what do you get Jesus for Christmas? What is it that He would want more than anything? That's gotta be one whopping birthday cake!

Down here on earth, things look a bit different, don't they?

We all have this perfect vision of what Christmas should be. We dream of a Norman Rockwell Christmas. A home filled with family and friends. We hope to hear from everyone we know. We wish for the greatest gifts under the tree. We dream of snow and merry gatherings. The kitchen smells of homemade cookies and pies. The table is decorated and laced with delicious treats that will be left overs for the next day. We hope for smiles and laughter. To sum it up, we wish for the most wonderful time we could imagine. We dream of perfection.

But perfection does not come and disappoint sets in for a long winters pity party.

We wait for invites to Christmas parties. We wait for the door bell to ring. Our phone is sitting close by as we wait for that call from our children. The weatherman says snow, but as we look out the window, snow isn't in sight. The tree is bare with no gifts under to unwrap.

We turn the radio on with a  hope that Christmas music will shake away our lonely sadness. But it only leaves us longing home of long ago.

Why do we do this to ourselves? It would still be Christmas if there were no tree, no gifts, and no guests. It's still Christmas without snow and carolers gathered at the door. Whether our phone is ringing off the hook or if the drive way is empty of cars, it's still Christmas.

All of heaven is celebrating the birth of our Savior. Friends, we have reason to celebrate, but we allow the ways of the world to bring us down. We measure the happiness of our day  by the commercial worldly standard. May I just add, this isn't a holiday, but a celebration! We look at it all wrong. Somewhere along the way our vision of this day has been altered. Lets exchange the world view for a heavenly view.

Why do we wait for this idea of a perfect Christmas and count on that to make it a grand day to remember? Why can't we just fill our hearts with Christmas cheer of the joy from our Savior's birth?

You know, I wonder today, how many of us are really celebrating the birth of our Savior. Hey, I'm right there with you, friends. We get so lost in the idea of what Christmas is to be. We count our Christmas blessings on whether our stockings are full. But in the end, it's not our stockings that matter.

We can be alone and have the most wondrous day. We already have the best gift that money can't buy. Nothing created on this earth by man's hands can even come close to what our Savior has given us. He gave Himself. He is our gift. He is our life. He is our joy. He is our Everything. He is the Light of the world.

Christmas isn't about all that other stuff. We make it that way, don't we? We measure our Christmas by the world's standards and that is just the wrong attitude to have. We wait on others to make us smile. We wait on someone else to wish us Merry Christmas. Friends, pick up the phone today and call someone and make their day. Christmas is simply about love and nothing more. Everything else is just decoration.

We celebrated our Christmas with our family a few days ago. We shared a Christmas breakfast and opened up gifts. Today our home is quiet. I have music quietly playing in the back ground. It smells of sausage and french toast. Daisy is now curled up on the couch and Jake is off visiting his grandparents. Our children are all celebrating with other family and friends.

I'm going to wait for my husband to get home and he will rest this evening and leave again tomorrow with another lay over. So, why am I sharing this with you? To tell you that Christmas is what we make of it. Don't leave your joy up to someone else. I pray your heart finds the truest meaning of Christmas today.

I could sit here today and be sad that my dad isn't here to share in this day. But again, he is in heaven and I can only imagine the celebration taking place there. So, I look back and remember. I take joy in the time we had to share. Sweet memories make the heart soar.

Lets think for a bit. The hospitals are filled with people today. There are families who are mourning the loss of their loved ones. Nursing homes have rooms that are filled with elderly who many times have no one to visit them. People are working and away from home today. Soldiers are stationed all over the world today waking to a whole different scene that what we can imagine. Hearts are hurting and people are in need. Some have no home today. There are those who have no food. A job would be at the top of their Christmas list. Our country is in need of great repair.

Today I think of the family of our friend, Walter, who just went home to meet His Jesus. Our friends, the Reeds, who just said good-bye to sweet Beth. My sister is mourning the loss of her boyfriend, Jim. Flags are still flying at half staff. People are tired today. They are weak and burdened. There is a sadness that is deep and isn't going away anytime soon for these families.

Friends, Christmas can live within our heart. Oh, how I wish we could all get in through our heads that it isn't about how many gifts we collect. It's about Jesus. It's about love. It's about giving from the heart. It's reaching out and touching your neighbor with kindness. It's looking beyond our own needs and filling those of others. Christmas is sharing Christ.

Toss perfection out the window and celebrate today as Jesus would want you to. I can't answer as to how that would be for you. That's something between just you and your Savior. Enjoy today and spend it as if it were your last Christmas here. Is there someone who needs forgiveness? Is there someone you have walked away from and your relationship needs rekindled? Friends, don't wait for your phone to ring. Pick up your phone and make the call. Don't wait for someone else to make your Christmas one to remember. Create your Christmas memories today. Be the love this world needs. Be the giving hand. Be the heart of prayer.

As all of heaven sings, "Hallelujah" today, raise your hands in praise of the One who came and is coming again.

"You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lamp stand, and it gives a light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16
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