Sitting in front of the fire. Christmas tree with its twinkly lights. Presents beneath. Soon to make the grandchildren smile. Both beautiful & fun carols sweetly wafting from the speakers. My wife and two youngest daughters puzzling over a thousand piece puzzle.
I’ve been puzzling, too.
How could I make Christmas, and all it’s previously joyful accoutrements, the poignant and meaningful celebration that it once was?
Over the past 2 1/2 years, I’ve traveled a faith journey filled with many ups and downs. Last Christmas, for the first time in my life, I faced the season without knowing if Christ was real or just a real nice story. It made for a hollow festivity. Not one that I wanted to repeat.
My puzzle seemed much more difficult than the thousand jigsaws currently spread out on the table. After months of trying to fit each piece into the Christmas picture….I think I’ve finally got it sorted out.
It all hinges on the choice choice that I made on a fateful February day. I decided to put my faith in the teachings and example ascribed to Jesus Christ. I didn’t know if Jesus was real, but I knew with certainty that his Way of Life was True. A True Way to live a good, productive and fulfilling Life.
John 14:6 Jesus saith, I am the way, the truth, and the life.
On Christmas day, I now celebrate the birth of the gorgeous principles personified as the the baby Jesus coming into the world. Teachings and example that are supremely appealing to me…and to most all of humanity.
So, this Christmas day I celebrate the birth of…
* The Good Samaritan
* The Prodigal Son
* The Golden Rule
* Charity that never faileth
* The greatest commandment–to love my neighbor as my self
* Love for the hungry, the thirsty, the strange, the naked, the sick, & the imprisoned.
* Peace on earth
* Goodwill toward men
The birth of this True Way of Life is now what I celebrate. It was created, not in the stately halls of a grand palace. Rather, it had the lowliest of humble beginnings. Among the commonest of people…like the shepherds who adored this beautiful way of life. Even wise men and kings would come to recognize & honor its excellence.
Today, a plethora of nativities are displayed throughout the house. The center piece of each is the baby Jesus. In reality, the center piece is the embodiment of heavenly teachings and noble example. The aspiration of my heart and all of Christianity.
And so, for me, the Christmas season and celebration has meaning again. A new and beautiful meaning. More beautiful than it has ever been before.
Now…I wish you a Merry & Beautiful Christmas contemplation of the birth of the glorious way of life that the Christ child represents.