Monday, December 26, 2011

Light up my life

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope that it was as amazing as mine and can only hope that you were as filled with love, joy, hope and peace as I was. I can only hope that it filled you with as much light too.
The final advent candle, advent theme, is light...the light of Christ. The candle is often called the Christ candle and before this year I had really never given that any thought. But then again, until this year, I had never really given much of anything in Advent much of a thought and had never given Christ in my life much of a thought either.
But this year was different for so many reasons. This year I was in a new church, surrounded by candle light, radiant images and amazing new friends (and of course a very wiggly, very loud, very energetic Cameron!!!). This year I found myself mesmerized by the flickering flame of the candle and very absorbed by what the light of Christ really means and what Christmas really means.
I've always been someone who said that we need to celebrate 'the reason for the season', I've always been driven crazy by people that want to change this time of year to 'winterfest', who want us to say 'happy holidays' and who have a 'holiday tree'. I've always known that CHRIST is the first word in Christmas and I've always thought about celebrating Christmas because of the birth of Jesus. I've even been able to well comprehend (or so I thought) that Christ is the light of the world. But this year the Christ candle wasn't just something we light on Christmas eve, the light wasn't just something that flowed from the wreath, the tree. This year that image of Christ's light was totally different.

This year I realized that Christmas is, obviously, not about presents or Christmas trees or Santa. It's not about dinners and time with family and friends (thought those are wonderful). It's not just about Jesus being born in that cold stable to a mother who was a virgin, to an earthly father who, despite knowing that this was not what he ever imagined his life would be and not really want he wanted to do with this woman he was to marry committed to being there for this infant child. It's not just about the miracle of this birth, a baby sent from God the Father. It's not JUST that.
It's about what this birth means, what was given to us in this birth...the light that the world was given through the birth of our saviour. The birth of our saviour...what a term. I mean, how many times have you used it, sang it, said it and seen it written. For me, it was just part of what I said at Christmas but now, well now it is something that just amazes me, brings me hope and makes me want to cry tears of joy for the wonderment of this gift.
God gave us the best Christmas present ever. He gave us a baby that would grow up to teach the world and to change the world. He gave us His son, knowing that this child would grow to be a man who would not live an easy life but who would build a legacy. He gave us His son knowing that man would eventually kill His child. He knowingly brought this baby into the world to die.
But what a death that would be. A death that erases all of our sin, a death that brings us to the Lord. That little baby wasn't just someone who was going to change the way that we thought of God, he wasn't just a baby who would change the world's thinking. He was a baby that would do all these things and then, when the time came for man to fear the changes this baby who had grown to be a powerful teacher brought, the power that he had over all who believed in him and his father, he would willingly die to further teach these people. He gave his life so that we could be forever forgiven of our sins. He gave his life so that we could have eternal life by simply admitting that he is the son of God, that he gave his life for us, that he is our Saviour and by asking for forgiveness for these sins and for Christ to live in our hearts and in our lives.
Christmas for me, now , means so much more than just his birth and the celebration of it. I always got that part, I always understood Christmas to be the celebration of the birth of baby Jesus. But now I get that it is the celebration of the birth of change, of a gift greater than anything imaginable. It is the celebration of the love of a wondrous God, the celebration of a joy that fills the earth. It is the celebration of the hope that our lives have great purpose even during the times that we are so unsure, so burdened. The celebration of a hope for eternal life, of salvation. It is the celebration of a peace that fills us when we know that we have this gift, this love, joy and hope. A peace that fills us when we know that we are a forgiven people because Christ loved us so much.
Christmas will never be the same for me again because I get it now, I get how amazing this gift really is.

May this light fill your life, may the love of Christ, the joy of the spirit, the hope for tomorrow and the peace that fills your heart fill you with light.
Merry Christmas everyone!

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