Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Advent Blog: Christmas Day!
Picture: The Adoration of the Shepherds by Rembrandt
"You know the real reason we celebrate Christmas, don't you? I mean, beyond Santa Claus and jingle bells and Christmas trees?
You mean because Jesus was born? she asked.
Yes... but did you ever think how Jesus was born? I mean, have you considered how it was such a humble birth, in a small barn...how he was laid in a hay trough...how the Son of almighty God humbled himself to be born in such lowly conditions? Have you thought about it like that? Jesus could have been born in a fine palace. After all, he was the Son of God. But for some reason God chose humble beginnings for His son. Do you ever wonder why? ... I think because God wanted to show that his love could reach to everyone, no matter who they were, from the poorest of poor to great kings."
~Melody Carlson, The Christmas Pony
My Soul Magnifies the Lord by Chris Tomlin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHzevDE3xhU
I am hesitant to put this in my blog because it is very personal. I don't want people to think I'm crazy. I also don't want to offend anyone with my beliefs. I feel like my blog is about beauty, and it is Christmas, so I want to share a beautiful story that happened to me.
I know that some people think the birth of Jesus is just a story. And people don't believe in miracles. They say Jesus was a great man, and a great philosopher. I remember in high school when we were taught about Jesus in history class. We had to write a paper about him in class. I started writing about Jesus in the way we had been taught in school. But then the Holy Spirit asked me, "Is this who you really think I am?" And I said, "No." I had to get out a new piece of paper and I wrote down what I really believed, even though I know it wasn't what we were taught in class. I believed in the Virgin birth, and that he healed people, he died on the cross for everyone's sins, and he rose again. If you believe in him, you will have eternal life. Then I turned in my paper, and the teacher sat in the middle of the room reading aloud each paper one by one. I was filled with the Holy Spirit, and I felt so much courage. Normally, at this age, I would have been so afraid of what people would think of me. But God made me brave. I felt like he gave me courage to witness. This is what witnessing is. He read each paper, and they were all the same. They were all saying what the teacher wanted to hear. But then he read my paper and he started to laugh. Other people in the class laughed. Someone asked, "Who wrote that paper?" I had so much courage. I raised my hand, and said with confidence that I wrote that paper. I remember feeling so much joy in my heart! It was like I was standing up for what I believed in.
I haven't always been so confident to stand up. I have even denied being a Christian before. But I just wanted to share this story with you because I believe that Christmas Day is remembering something that really happened. Not that it happened on exactly this day. I heard some people think it happened in Spring because that is when shepherds would be tending their flocks. But we celebrate Easter in the Spring, and they wanted to convert the pagan holiday into a Christian holiday, so that is why we celebrate it when we do. It is nice to have a party in the middle of winter when it is the coldest and darkest time of the year.
I wanted you to know that I really believe this happened. I believe in the miracles. It may sound crazy, but if you believe in God, you believe he can do anything.
"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined." ~Isaiah 9:2