Thursday, December 24, 2015

noel

As part of making the place look festive I have these cut-out letters spelling Christmas words strung around our ceilings. "Emmanuel" and "Prince of Peace." The other morning Mr. B looked up while eating his breakfast and asked, "Who's 'Leon?'"  Depending on where you sit, the words don't make any sense because you're looking at them backwards.




That's true of Christmas, too. You see, if you're looking at this baby born and laid in a feed trough a couple thousand years ago in a little town named Bethlehem through the eyes of someone who doesn't believe in God or feel the need for any kind of salvation because we humans are the top of the food chain and know all of the answers and heaven is a place for people who haven't done anything too bad--like, say murder someone or whatever--then that baby might as well be named Leon or Fred or Hunter or Derek and what's the point of celebrating this kid's birthday more than the birthday of any other baby.

But if you look at the baby with the right perspective--we humans are desperately flawed and can't make it right on our own, we are created for a purpose and are loved by that creator and the only way for us to approach a 100% holy God is through some gift of mercy and grace, then Jesus come to earth in human form on Christmas makes perfect sense. He was born and killed to cover the penalty of sin through death, so when you put them together, Christmas and Easter add up.

It's about perspective. For believers, Christmas is the best possible gift and the love behind this gift of a Messiah brings us to our knees and drives us to weep tears of gratitude because through Him we enjoy a relationship with God that previously wasn't possible. For everyone else, Christmas is a holiday centered on the idea of people doing what they can to slap a band aid on a screwed up world--at least for a couple weeks out of the year. That kind of pressure on ourselves to make it perfect all alone can be stressful and daunting and even depressing.

I hope, dear reader, you enjoy a Christmas of joy and hope and peace.

13 comments:

  1. This is beautiful, just like you. Merry Christmas, my friend!

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  2. Oh, Melissa, that is beautiful! May I read this at church on Sunday? We are having a "sharing service" where this would be most appropriate.

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  3. Great post, but I especially like the last couple sentences. When one looks at Christmas with the right perspective , one knows that everything from cards to gifts to elaborate meals is just the fluff. No need to stress about any of it, because Christmas can happen without any of it.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  4. "Who's Leon?" - ha ha ha !

    The humility of "God with us" is astounding to me. Thanks for this Christmas meditation.

    I think your word decorations are really cool. It's almost as if they are descending from on high. Peace on earth, good will to humankind.

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  5. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
    (I work with a man named Noel...his son, who also works with us is Leon!)

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  6. Love this idea. Stringing words of wisdom around the house.

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  7. Love the words. My husband cut out of wood the word NOEL with his jigsaw and I sharpied it red (because I'm that lazy and didn't want to find paint).

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  8. I hope you had a lovely Christmas. Myself, I seem to have lost sight of its true meaning. I hope I can focus on it more throughout the coming year.

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  9. Beautiful words. I hope your family had a wonderful Christmas and you are having a nice break from all the craziness of teaching!

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  10. Beautifully said. I hope you and your wonderful family had a very blessed Christmas.

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Spill it, reader.