The Perfect Christmas

Are you searching for the perfect Christmas?  Do you worry over whether or not you will finish your shopping on time?  Perhaps you want every cookie to look like they came off of the cover of a magazine.  Or maybe you are concerned over how your relatives will get along at the annual Christmas gathering this year.  While we would all like to piece together the perfect Christmas, we need to realize that Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect.  In fact, the one and only perfect Christmas many years ago was still far from perfect.
On December 9, I had the privilege of attending church at the Brooklyn Tabernacle in Brooklyn, New York.  The Christmas program, “Christmas Once Again,” was the best Christmas program I have ever seen in my life.  The music reached down into the depths of my soul.  The lyrics spoke to the innermost part of my heart.  The anointing of the Holy Spirit overwhelmed me completely, causing tears of joy to stream down my face.  Every word spoken, every note sung, and every move made ministered to my heart and soul in such a special way.  It was one of those days I will remember for the rest of my life.
While the vocalists, musicians, dramatic team, and others involved gave a superb performance, it wasn’t about the technical execution of the program.  For me, it was about the message being conveyed through the excellent presentation.  Songs such as “His Love Is All I See” and “Would It Still Be Christmas?” captured my full attention, tugging at my heartstrings, reminding me once again what the Christmas season is all about.  I’ve loved Jesus Christ with all of my heart ever since I was a little girl, but after this experience, I’d have to say I left there loving Christmas more, loving life more, and loving Jesus more.
The dramatic segment began with a father who was dreaming of the perfect Christmas.  He expected his family to epitomize perfection.  He wanted Christmas to be a certain way and fantasized about a family straight from the television classics in which the mother wears pearls in the kitchen and the children take etiquette to the extreme.  All too soon, he wakes up, realizing that his family is far from picture-perfect.  His wife is frazzled over dinner preparations, his children have their own ideas of the way things should be, and their relatives are eccentric to say the least.  Everything seems to go wrong and one by one, their guests leave.  His children storm out of the room.  His wife explains to him that Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect because the first Christmas wasn’t perfect either.
You see, the very first Christmas was far from perfect.  Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, was born in a stable.  There wasn’t even any room in the inn.  Jesus wasn’t laid in a crib in a hospital.  He was laid in a manger of hay.  There were not thousands of people there to witness this grandiose event.  No paparazzi or news reporters were there to cover this significant moment in history.  Instead, a few Wise Men and some shepherds were the only ones who came to congratulate the new parents.  But with all of its imperfections, this first Christmas was absolutely perfect.  Why?  Because this single night literally changed the world.
This Christmas, don’t dwell on trying to create the perfect Christmas.  Instead, ask God to give you a blessed Christmas.  It doesn’t matter if you wrap gifts the night before Christmas, or if the cookies get a little too brown on the bottom.  And no one will know if you made the whole meal from scratch or took a few shortcuts here and there.  What really matters is whether or not you and your family spend time together and whether or not you take time to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  With Jesus Christ at the center of your Christmas, your Christmas will be truly perfect.

In Christ’s Love,

CHRISTmas is Coming!

Christmas is such a special time of year.  I love the glow of the Christmas lights on the tree, the way the stockings hang from the mantle that is topped with a nativity scene and the smell of fresh baked cookies as they are removed from the oven.  And I especially love the aroma that fills the house when I make my mom’s white meringue chocolate chip cookies, or when my dad makes his perfectly spiced pumpkin pie on Christmas Day.  Both of these delectable desserts melt in my mouth with a tantalizing taste that is scrumptiously satisfying to my sweet tooth.  Of course, nothing is better than the warmth in my heart that is borne of filling gift boxes with something special for family and friends.  Every aspect of Christmas is so special, so endearing, so treasured.  But the real reason I love Christmas is because of a precious little baby boy who was born one night many years ago.

Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords was not born in a palace, but a stable.  He was not placed in a cradle lined in luxurious plush blankets, but a manger filled with hay.  He was born to a virgin; his father was a carpenter.  He grew up to be the Savior of the world and died for the forgiveness of our sins.  He gave a gift we could never give.  It wasn’t a new pair of tennis shoes, a necktie, or a fruitcake.  Jesus gave all He could possibly give: His life.  That’s the greatest gift of all.  That’s unconditional love.  That’s Christmas.

So this year, I encourage you to look past the list of 101 things to do before Christmas.  Look past the cards to write, presents to wrap, and cookies to bake.  Look past the house to clean, tree to trim, and parties to attend.  Look past all of the things that may worry you or stress you and look to the One for whom this joyous holiday is being held.  Christmas is the birthday of a King.  Jesus is the King who does not require a fancy banquet or an elaborate celebration.  All He requires is an open door inside your heart, so He can come inside.  He doesn’t want you to become frazzled over holiday plans.  He wants you to enjoy the time with family and friends.  He wants you to spend time with Him.  He wants you to feel His amazing love.  And He wants you to love Him in return.

As you trim the tree, wrap the presents, and bake the cookies this Christmas, remember the reason for the CHRISTmas season: Jesus Christ!  Whether or not Frosty and Santa come to town, you can be assured that Jesus Christ IS coming to the celebration.  The lights glisten with a festive glow, the ornaments dangle from the boughs of the tree, and the angel tops the tree with a divine smile on his or her face.  But the most glorious part of Christmas is all about the manger underneath the tree, on the mantle, or out on the lawn.  For the baby in the manger is the Savior of the world.  He is the reason we live, the reason we laugh, the reason we love.  Jesus Christ is the reason for CHRISTmas.

In Christ’s Love,