A Baby Changes Everything

There’s my home… and it’s fall-pictures-169Christmas Day.  It seemed like it would never come, and it is here.  It is quiet… peaceful… calm.  The snow has been falling steadily for the past week, and it continues today outside my window.  I can see the chickadees and bluejays picking at the seeds in the fluffy whiteness, with a little red squirrel scampering beside them.  We opened all the presents this morning — Laney came running into my room at what seemed to be much too early an hour to announce that it was Christmas!  All my siblings slept around the tree last night, which is a tradition of ours.  So as soon as morning came, it was present time!  Wrapping paper all over the floor, the couch, the chairs; pillows on the ground, dogs rolling on the rugs, squeals and laughter over gifts.  But is this all Christmas is?

It’s the same question many other blogs are posing; so are many books, television hosts and churches.  Is this all there is?  And everyone answers:  “No!  Of course not!”  That’s the right answer, see.  But then, if Christmas isn’t about the gifts and fun times, what IS it about?  Some say family.  “We’re close together, having quality time.”  But how many destroyed families attempt to cover the pain with a shallow gathering of bitter people: hurt women, unhappy men, and unloved children?  They say Christmas is about family, but for many, there is no ‘family’ at all. 

Some say it is about cheer and ‘goodwill’.  Yet good deeds and happy faces don’t cover a whole year for you.  December can’t be the only month we choose to have ‘goodwill toward men’.  Christmas is over, a new year begins… resolutions are made, often to be broken.  Christmas is not about ‘goodwill’.

Is Christmas about peace?  For many, peace is not to be grasped.  Peace is ever evasive; ever sought and never found.  To feel peace — contentment, ease, no worry, no pain — is unbeknownst to so many people.  They print it on their Christmas cards (along with goodwill to men) without understanding or ever experiencing it themselves.  It’s just a word… like so many other phrases associated with Christmas.

For our culture, Christmas is hollow.  It is empty.  It is the shell of something they never actually have experienced or known.  It is a name and an idea that they view through a glass; gazing at the Norman Rockwell Christmas they long for, wishing their family was that ‘functional’, they had that goodwill, and that they felt that peace.  Just as they window shop for the gifts they buy, they window shop ‘what Christmas is all about’.  Always seeking, but never buying into the message, hope and promise of Christmas. 

I know what Christmas is all about.  I know.  It’s about a life… a birth.  It’s not about us and our presents to each other, or our families, or our good feelings and peaceful pretentions.  Christmas is the commemoration of Jesus Christ’s gift of Himself for all mankind.  Because I believe and accept this — because I know in my heart of hearts that this is true — Christmas gives me my family, together, not disjointed.  Because He was born and I love Him I DO have goodwill toward mankind… but only because He gives it.  Because of His love and grace I DO have peace, for He is still with me, not just in Bethlehem.  The world makes a cheap imitation of what I and every other Christian has. 

Because of Him, my Christmas is beautiful.  Because I accept the Child of Bethlehem as my Savior, my life is different, not only my Christmas.  That’s how a Baby changes everything.

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5 Responses

  1. Wonderful post, Phylicia! What a great reminder. “Because of Him, my Christmas is beautiful…” Amen to that. 🙂

    Your home is LOVELY! What a beautiful picture.

    Have a Merry rest of the Christmas.
    Love you girl!

  2. Thank you…we are about to have our Christmas Dinner and tensions are already rising…Thank you for grounding at least my core.

  3. ” December can’t be the only month we choose to have ‘goodwill toward men’. ” Yes, exactly right 🙂

  4. Beautiful, that’s all I say, beautiful! Wonderful explanation, and yes, a baby changed everything! Changed the world in a lovely way, our precious Jesus Christ! Because of him, I’m saved, I’m alive, I’m free, I’m his, I’m loved!

    Love Vanessa

  5. I love the picture, I miss the snow of northern michigan. we don’t get nearly as much near detroit. i drove past your house every day on my way to work and it is such a beautiful place with the horses out front.

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