28 years ago, I was nine years-old sleeping under the Christmas tree. The night before, my mother was sent to the hospital as we all eagerly awaited the birth of my little brother, Seth. (Happy Birthday Seth!) We were at home awaiting the call and sure enough, news came we had a baby brother. I will never forget being woken up by the old fashioned rotary phone ring as the sun shined through the living room window. That Christmas was particularly special because I gained a baby brother.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord..” Luke 2:11
My brother Seth has brought so much joy to my family. You see, just two months before his birth my grandmother died. It was the first Christmas I felt deep emotion experiencing firsthand life and death in such a short period of time. My perspective as a 9-year-old boy about Christmas and who Jesus is was forever changed. Jesus was a baby, and yet the Savior of the world, and he wants us to Experience Christmas in a unique way this year:
Experiencing Christmas This Year…
1. Slow Down – Most of you will probably be reading this the weekend right before Christmas. Whether you are traveling, staying home or are finishing up work for the work, take your foot off the gas. Read Luke 2 about the birth of Jesus and let it sink into your soul. As you battle traffic, last minute expectations from your boss and chaotic marketing schemes, just relax. Take some time to write, read, reflect and remember.
2. Embrace The Pain – We know this time of year is incredibly difficult for so many. We face Christmas this year with pain from a lost loved one, a past or pending divorce or a recent illness. Let me tell you a secret: It’s okay and healthy to embrace the pain. It is the pain of life that helps us understand just how deep the love of Jesus runs. Talk to someone, cry it out, embrace your children and receive forgiveness of a savior who came to forgive.
3. Make A Memory – Family, friends and loved ones, this is what Christmas is about. I still have the tag from Christmas 1983 when I received a “brand new dirt bike” from my grandparents. No doubt you have probably been to a Christmas party or two but I am talking about intentionally making this Christmas a “wow moment” for someone. it doesn’t have to be a gift under a tree. Forgive, communicate, take a bold step. Whatever it is, you probably already know what you need to do.
4. Savor The Moment –
If there is food to be eaten, taste all of it.
If there are children to be hugged, hug all of them.
If there is a spouse to be held hold them tight.
If there is a gift to be given, enjoy the smile.
If there is a sin to forgive, let it be forgotten.
There is a Savior to celebrate, worship Him with all of your heart.
Thank you for making my family rich with friends and love. It’s time to Experience Christmas.
Josh, Summer, Lilly, Titus & Lydia