Happy Birthday Jesus

This Christmas season has been a bit different from years past – not necessarily because anything has really changed but because my perspective is changing. December began and shortly after I learned about The Advent Conspiracy (see earlier post) – a deliberate challenge to decrease consumerism and focus on relationships and Christ. The message of The Advent Conspiracy “struck a chord” with me and I found myself thinking about it all month. This past year I transitioned from near-destitute-graduate-life to near-destitute-non-profit-life (yes, I exaggerate but I do not live a lucrative life at the present). This reality was difficult for me to face in light of the Christmas season. I love buying gifts for the ones I love. However, the reality of my wallet made me realize the way I usually show love, appreciation and gratitude for those in my life just wasn’t possible. I’ve also been seeing how these exuberant gestures weren’t necessary and I too was fueling the consumerism of Christmas and minimizing the true focus. Because I had a smaller budget for gifts this year, I tried to seek other ways to show friends and family how treasured they are to me.

But the best part of being “poor” this Christmas is that I had to stop and think about what Christmas was all about! (You’re thinking, “duh, so simple!” And you’re right but we all need to be reminded don’t we?) Christmas music seemed sweeter this year. The snow looked whiter. I didn’t spend hours at the mall but enjoyed baking cookies with my family and spending time with friends. I mulled over Jesus’ birth and life – not just the scene at the manger but the implications of the cross. Because he was born, I have a healer, a counselor, sweet freedom and magnificent grace. Jesus came and gave me unmerited mercy! Sweet mercy that I do not deserve. He came to die. That’s not something I’ve often thought about when I set out my nativity or even sing Christmas songs. He came to die. Whoa.

Tonight as I sent off the last child from my church’s nursery after our Christmas Eve services, a little boy proclaimed proudly that tomorrow is Jesus’ birthday. Jesus, who once was a little boy just like this little one, came with much to accomplish, to love, to heal, and to redeem. Celebrating him on one day with presents to each other barely seems enough. As Christmas day quickly approaches, I hope that we all can pause and think not only of Jesus’ birth but of his death. He came to die – so that we might live. He gave us the ultimate present of forgiveness and eternal life when he was born so many years ago.

So, happy birthday Jesus! I am forever grateful that you were born and that through your life and death I can live. Merry Christmas!

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2 Comments to “Happy Birthday Jesus”

  1. I love this! And I completely agree, the reality of Jesus coming as a helpless tiny baby really hit me. To quote my favorite (James of course) he said that God’s decision to send Jesus down as a baby was a humble one..I love that thought. Truly to think of God as a helpless infant really changes perspective on Christmas. thanks for sharing friend! 🙂

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