Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Will Be Calling It Christmas

As December comes in, I want to make it perfectly clear that I will not be calling this the winter or holiday season.

I will be calling it Christmas.

Really now, are we celebrating winter? I know many people up north who are not celebrating the actual season of winter- freezing cold, snow, ice drifts, frozen pipes, shoveling, danger from icy roads, etc.

Why don't we celebrate, spring, summer and autumn as well?

You get my drift.

My family and I will be celebrating Christmas Eve and Christmas together. Let us just take a few moments to look back at why we even have a celebration at this time of the year.

In Luke chapter 1 we see the account of a young girl who is engaged to be married, who has lived a life of purity and honor to God. She is met by an angel while doing what she is supposed to be doing and being where she is supposed to be (what a lesson that is).

The angel tells her that God has chosen her to carry His Son. At first she doesn't understand how this is possible being that she is still pure. But the angel tells her that with God all things are possible. Although agreeing to this would put Mary in an awkward position, she trusts that God knows what He is doing. (For more on this, read the post How Can This Be?)

Joseph, her betrothed, is also visited by an angel, and He agrees to the situation.

Because of the census, the couple is forced to travel to Bethlehem to be counted. Can you imagine traveling back in those days (circa 4 A.D.) while 9 months pregnant? Traveling by car in our general locality was uncomfortable enough, I cannot imagine using the different methods of transportation Mary may have used.
 
When they finally arrived in Bethlehem, they could not find a room in the inn. Going back to my own pregnancy of Addie (which was wonderful! No morning sickness and I only had heartburn during month 5!), I know how uncomfortable labor can be. Although I preferred walking during my contractions, I cannot imagine walking around and being in labor in a smelly, dirty barn or animal shelter. Yet Mary did, at such a young age, because she knew that with God all things are possible.

And then came the moment which is the reason we celebrate Christmas. Jesus, the Christ, was born and came into the world as a baby.

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ, and that is what the main attack on Christmas is.

A denial that the birth of Christ even happened, a hiding of the facts to soothe the minds and conscience of those who choose not to believe in Him. They have that right, but they do not have the right to take the celebration of Christ's birth away from those of us who chose to celebrate it.
The actual birthing process of Jesus was something I actually thought about during the Christmas season that I was pregnant. It suddenly hit me that this baby I was carrying was going to have to come out at some point. And then I thought of Mary, without her mother, without her family, only Joseph to help her get through the intense pain of labor, but she did it, with God's help, and so could I.

So as we go into this Christmas season, let us remember why we are celebrating. We are celebrating Jesus, the gift that God sent here to earth for us so that if we put our faith and trust in Him, we can have eternal life when our life on earth is done. It gives us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

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