I started this Christmas season a bit annoyed with all the cutesy, cozy Christmas songs and legends. It bothered me that the birth of Christ is so idealized, and Jesus probably wasn’t even born at Christmas [unless you subscribe to the theory put forth in The Star]. I still love Christmas because I have so many happy memories associated with it, but living overseas in a developing country, I see a lot more people whose Christmases are sad and stressful. Thankfully, in this country there is almost always plenty of home-grown food. There is also a strong extended family structure. But life for the people here isn’t cozy or cutesy at all. It’s raw, and real, and sometimes incredibly difficult and tragic. In the past month, a number of very sad and upsetting things have happened around us. Our own family has experienced something very sad and raw which resurfaced in the past week. We live in a broken, hurting world.
Last night, while singing Christmas hymns with most of the other women on our mission center, it suddenly hit me that the most REAL thing about Christmas, when we celebrate the coming of the Christ, the Messiah, at Advent, is just that: We live in a broken, hurting world that desperately needs a Savior. HE CAME into this world and lived a raw, real life here, suffered a horrific death in our place, and yet triumphed when he rose again and ascended to Heaven. And He’s coming back! He’s going to make everything right again. He will deal with Evil – currently under a death sentence – by destroying it permanently.
No matter when Jesus was born, Christmas celebrates the fact that He WAS born! If not for that fact, we’d all be under a death sentence, waiting for an eternity of destruction. He lived, He died, He rose again, He’s coming back! For those who have accepted His gift of salvation, that’s the ultimate reason to celebrate. It’s not cheesy. It’s not cutesy. It’s not cozy. But IT IS REAL. And it is the most comforting truth possible.
- Rejoicing in that Truth,
Cute kids this morning, wearing more Christmas clothes from Aunt Mickey!: