I’m not the only one who’s been doing their Christmas shopping this week. Ideally, I would do it at the beginning of the month, but I tend to forget about it till Christmas is one week away.
Anyway, just thought I’d mention that.
I wonder if people really think about the true meaning of Christmas anymore. I’m supposed to read “The Man who Invented Christmas” for my book group, it’s about how Dickens wrote a Christmas Carol.
I don’t think I really think about the Christmas story. I’ve heard it so many time, it goes over my head.
It takes the Charlie Brown special, or a ghostly little book to remind me that the Christmas story has power.
Also those old carols.
If you have ever learned more than the first two verses of old hymns, you know the standards versions are totally ripping us off. Jesus Loves Me has two more awesome verses. And all the Carols are way cooler if you get further in.
I love O come Emmanuel, O Holy Night, and We Three Kings.
And I love the extra verses.
“O come thou wisdom from on high, and order all things far and nigh; to us the path of knowledge show, and cause us in her ways to go.
O come desire of nations bind, in one the hearts of all mankind; bid thou our sad divisions cease, and be thyself our king of peace.”
Isn’t that great?
One other song that improves upon more verse is Little Town of Bethlehem.
That song used to bore me, but when I learned it had three more verses that were very cool, I started to love it.
How silently, how silently, this wondrous gift is given, as God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his heaven; no ear may hear His coming, but in this World of Sin, where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.”
What I like about that last line is how it being the song to us, in our modern day. Even though the Christmas story id definitely more celebrated than the Crucifixion, Christians tend to turn to the Cross more for symbolism than for…any other story.
I mean, if you turn on Christian Radio, you’ll hear the cross and death mentioned in jsut aobut every single song.
That’s not wrong of course. But I think the Christmas story had importance as more than just nostalgia.
I wish I kept this in mind more, but it’s like the songs says.
“O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend on us, we pray, cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today; we hear the Christmas Angels the great glad tidings tell, o come to us, abide with us, Our Lord Emmanuel.”
If you are not a Christian, or even if you are one and are sick to death of hearing these songs, then maybe it’s sounds like mumbo jumbo.
And for the record, some of it is poetic license. I don’t actually think that we now hear Christmas Angels (unless you’ve had a more face to face experience than I have.)
I doubt there are angels specifically for Christmas, because Christmas, as Dickens pointed out, is not a day, it’s a way of life.
Christmas just means Christ Mass, or Christ Day.
As the song says, “Be born in us today.”
The true meaning of that refers to how Jesus told us that to enter the kingdom of heaven we must be born again.
Jesus Himself was born again, in a way, since he already lived before becoming a baby.
It may sound whacked out, I won’t argue. I don’t think God always intends to sound sane to mere mortals. I don’t think God much cares if we understand how He does things. We don’t understand ourselves.
That it sounds crazy is actually the point. Most people don’t have a problem believing a Man in the brutal times of Roman Occupation in Israel could have been crucified as a heretic. It happened frequently.
But people do have a hard time swallowing that A virgin could supernaturally conceive and give birth to the son of God, made flesh.
Though, when I consider that I’m questioning how the Person who made DNA could make up for the other 23 chromosomes….I feel stupid.
Believing that Jesus was born in a miraculous way is the first step to believing you ca be reborn.
When I was little the idea of Jesus living inside of me wasn’t weird to me at all, now I realize it could sound crazy to some…a lot… of people.
Of course, I don’t actually mean that a man is moving inside of m body. That’s not what it means at all.
But that God puts His own Spirit in us, and it becomes one with our spirit.
Which is actually how it was meant to be in original creation. The reason we say sin is spiritual death is because it severs us from God’s spirit, which is life.
God cannot dwell with unholiness, which is why Christ’s work clear us of our guilt and makes us holy.
Which all started with him being born, not into sin, but blameless.
The miracle of Christmas is that rebirth is even possible. That we all have a chance at being made new.
That’s worth living out every day.
Until Next Time–Natasha (Christ’s Birthday)