What is the Christmas Season to you and what does it mean for your life. As a child to me, it meant to receive gifts, clothing, toys and eating a whole lot of fruits and cake. It makes a child smile more than at any time in their life. As an adult, I still smile when I reflect on times past, present, and future.
The word Christmas as I understand or have read was it was used by the Catholics, now I can assure you that I was not brought up as a Catholic, even though I have attended a service. The Hebrews refer to this as the Khag Ha’Molad -Holiday of the Birth (Nativity). Now the closest thing to the Nativity that we may have had growing up would have been Christmas cards we gave or received that depict the Nativity scene.
Most Christians are familiar with the birth of Jesus. We’ve been told, seen the movie, sung about it, Away in a manger, no crib for his bed……..and even perhaps may have read the Scriptures about it. But have we really received it in our hearts?
From a child’s point of view: I remember growing up in my small town of Ellaville, Ga and as I reflect on it, times were somewhat trying. At times in my life, we lived in houses with no indoor plumbing, no central air, and heating, and windows and doors may have been quite drafty. I remember walking to town about 4 to 6 miles to get groceries from Mr. Paul Tondee’s grocery store. Sometimes strangers both white and black would give us a ride, mostly when we were struggling to keep the packages in the wet paper bags that was about to burst because at that time we didn’t have plastic bags with handles to carry the food.
But no matter what our living situation was, preparing for Christmas was always a joy. We would go into the woods near, and I mean near the house and get brushes of limbs to sweep the yards, no rake was needed because there was no grass but the sand was as white as the sands on Florida’s coast. Then we would hunt for what we see as the perfect Christmas tree, cut it down and drag or carry it home depending on the size. Then we would find an old bucket, fill it with sands and wrap it with aluminum foil. Then the adults would decorate the tree with lights and ornaments. We as children were allowed to throw the shiny strings of what we called ice cycles on it. The house had the smell of cedar and cake throughout it. Christmas Eve, we could hardly sleep because of the excitement. Like a fantasy the next morning, gifts, fruits, toys, and clothing piled underneath the tree. It was the best sight to see. What I didn’t know was the cost of debt that our parents had incurred to make this the greatest day of the year.
As I think about those times, family, friends, and the material things I’ve acquired such as 18 vehicles and a motorcycle; Living in multiple states and 3 other countries; having wages of 10 cents per thousand chickens I had to catch to a 6 digit salary. To find love and have true love and life partner in my wife Ineda; to maintain friendships for decades and not based on the color of their skin but the genuine love we have for one another. I share this not to brag or boast but to Glorify God. Whether you call it Christmas as the Catholics say it is from the time when every saint had their own saint’s day on which a mass or communion service was said in their memory, but the Scriptures tell us in 1 Corinthians 11 that Jesus took communion with his disciples and in verse 24 it says And when he had given thanks, he brakes it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. Or you celebrate the Nativity as in which the gospel writers Matthew and Luke, wrote: Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Luke 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. Luke 2:7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Think about this, we are the embodiment of an inn, in 1 Corinthians 6:19 it is said, What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, is there no room at the inn? Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hears my voice, and open the door, I will come into him and will sup with him, and he with me. Is there any room at the inn?
So I ask you, when is the Christmas season? I submit to you that every day we commune with Jesus it is Christmas season; Every day that we share the gift of Jesus with others, it is the Christmas season; every time we open our heart to receive Jesus, we make room at the inn. As the wise men brought gifts to the birth of Jesus to aid with provisions for the child, we bring and Jesus to those to make provisions to the gift of everlasting life to those willing to open and let Him come in. This is the Christmas Season.
Lord thank you for coming into my life and giving me the gift of Jesus which is eternal life with him. Let us share this Gift with others daily. Bless those days when they think they may feel alone. Comfort them who love ones may have transitioned but remind them that they are never alone and that you are Emmanuel and that God is with us. In Jesus’s name. Amen
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