My Christmas Spirit

Aug 3, 2017 by

My Christmas Spirit comes from being a father myself, and knowing how much I love my children. Knowing that I would lay my life down for them if I had to. That I would gladly take any pain they have on myself. As I celebrate the birth of One who did just that for me, I can truly feel the Christmas story.

As a child growing up, my family didn’t celebrate Christmas, as my mother and step-father were Jehovah’s Witnesses. I don’t have memories of coming downstairs on Christmas morning to presents, or having Christmas parties at my school. When Christmas parties were held at school, my teachers always knew to send me to the office, where my mother would pick me up to take me home. I wasn’t permitted to participate in anything related to Christmas. Because of that, celebrating Christmas as an adult, doesn’t conjure up any happy childhood memories of Christmas’ past. I simply have no such memories. But on the positive side, I also never grew up viewing Christmas as just a gift giving holiday, and I missed out on all the secular trappings of Christmas too. I’m really kind of glad for that.

As an adult, I enjoyed Christmas a lot when my own children were little, and certainly now with grandchildren. I think I somewhat made up for my own missed Christmas experience, through my three son’s experiencing Christmas. But, I still have always had some disconnect with Christmas, because of my lack of any childhood experiences. I have to admit that the lights, trees, presents, and especially secular Christmas songs, don’t do much for me. I wish I could relate to it all, but I just don’t that much. Also, for much of my adult life, I wasn’t a born-again believer in Jesus Christ. Now that I am a follower of Jesus, Christmas has a very profound meaning for me.

Since accepting Jesus as my Savior, the real meaning of Christmas now cuts straight into my heart. This is so true especially when I’m at church singing the old Christmas hymns. Many of them I had heard for years before accepting Jesus, but once I did, they just came to life for me. One of my favorites is “Hark The Herald Angels.” Once, right after accepting Jesus as my Savior, I was singing it and sang the words,

“Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb,
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
Hail the incarnate deity,
Pleased as Man with Man to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.”

I couldn’t finish the song! What great theology! I finally understood it for the first time, after hearing it for many years. I stood with tears in my eyes, listening to the church sing, realizing just how much Christmas now meant to me.

I certainly can’t fully know the cost of what Jesus did, but I can relate to it so much as a believer and father myself, and so greatly appreciate it, and simply stand in awe of it. I know that love would go that far, and had to go that far. On my own merits or good deeds, I still fall woefully short of any ability to stand before a Holy God. But, God provided Jesus, who became flesh and stood in my place. His blood and tears wiped away my shame when I trusted Him.

On that first Christmas morning nearly 2,000 years ago, a King was born, in such an inappropriate manner. But how appropriate was that birth for a spotless Lamb, who would one day lay His life down for my sin.

I get it.

Merry Christmas!

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