Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Magic of Christmas

Christmas truly is a magical time. Not in the since that it is 'of' magic, but that it is one of mystery and excitement and all sorts of wonderful things, known and unknown. I think of the mystery of Christmastime when I was a child. Truly something seemed to be in the air, something seemed to be happening as I found myself wrapped up in the wonder of something special. Not sure what that specialness was, but there was something special happening. Sure, as a kid, I loved the thought that I was in line to get some wonderful gifts, but still there was something more, something that I never could put my finger on. What was it? What was that lingering mystery that haunted my thoughts and my anticipation. It was something more than just receiving presents and eating wonderful Christmas food. It was more than getting together and spending time with family and friends. That feeling of mystery simply would not leave, nor did I want it to leave. What was it? What was the joy and excitement that haunted dreams and my waking hours?

Even after the loss of Christmas innocence, which was a blow, that 'something' was still in the air at Christmastime. That mystery ... still there haunting me. That haunting was still as exciting as I remembered as a child and now even more intriguing. Now as an adult with children of my own, I find that Christmastime is even more intriguing, even more exciting, and now even more mysterious! I find myself wanting to get lost in old Christmas movies or a dozen Christmas songs. I have my internet radio tuned to Holiday Classics even as I write this. The magic, the mystery, the excitement floods through my very core even now! What is it? What is this mystery? What is this wonderfully unique and extremely thrilling obscurity that is as real as the sun and the moon?

In the Bible in 1 Corinthians 2:7 Paul writes about the 'wisdom of God being a mystery'. This has to have something to do with this magical mystery so many sense during Christmastime. It has to be! We celebrate the birth of the Savior of the World, the Lord Jesus Christ and in doing so, we acknowledge God! We acknowledge the invisible God and 'behold' Him from within. I truly feel that the mystery that is sensed, the wonder that is felt at Christmastime is the very love and grace of God. God in His amazing love and grace simply radiates to us Himself and whether it's a child who is so willing to believe in the unseen or it's an adult who has lost his innocence and is very skeptical of that which is unseen feel that magic. The mystery that is sensed and felt is the very presence of a God Who is pouring out His heart and love to us at such a special time of year, a time of receptivity, a time of peace and love. God is reaching out showering child and adult alike with His wonderful love! The mystery is simply invisible God wooing us closer to Himself, seeking to bring us into His heart of love and mercy and give to us life and an abundance of life. It's God inviting us inside the greatest and most majestic of all places; His life.

Whether it's a child who is searching for Santa and his sleigh loaded down with presents or if it's an adult who is trying to recapture that innocence one more time, the magical mystery is the eternal rays of glory reaching out and caressing us, wooing us, calling us into His secret place all because He loves us and longs to be with us and longs for us to long to be with Him. The mystery in the air is the powerful love of God falling like fresh snow onto a world that He loves so much!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Slow Down and Sing

It's Christmastime! Woo-hoo!!! Since I was a child, I have loved this time of the year. All the colors, all the smells, all the reindeer, all the Christmas specials on TV and all the Christmas cheer out there just makes it an awesome time of the year. As an adult I love to play back the memories in my mind and in my heart of those wonderful Christmases when I was a child. I do remember that Christmas was hard sometimes and that the gifts were few, but as I remember, I remember the wonderful spirit of Christmas. The excitement of just being with family as we would gather to eat Christmas dinner. All the siblings, cousins, uncles and aunts, grandparents, and plenty of friends. We could hardly wait for Christmas eve to come for we knew that we would be together for Christmas eve to celebrate Christmas as a family. There was no fighting that night, no tempers flaring, nobody sad. Even siblings were at peace. All were joyous and happy and full of life! Even grandparents were giddy with Christmas spirit. It was a totally wonderful time for all. It was as if everyone was sprinkled with youthfulness again. Smiles, laughter, and fun characterized these times. Christmas songs filled the air! Whether by way of radio, records, or someone singing a capella Christmas music was being sung! Whether it was Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls, or Silent Night, a song was being sung!

What a wonderful thing now many years later. Those same songs being played or sung today can bring back a memory, a warm feeling, a smile, and at times, even a tear or two. It is amazing that at 44 years of age, I catch myself singing "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" out loud ... when I am all alone or in a crowd. I can be walking down the grocery isle and break out singing, 'I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know'. Bystanders turn and look at me and smile or raise a curious eyebrow while some have joined in the singing. I love it!

Even so, I see so many running here, flying there, trying to get this or do that with the worst look on their face. Hurrying here and hurrying there. Rush, Rush, Rush! I can't stand it. It's not the Christmas that I knew or want to know. I want to tell them to slow down or Christmas will be here and gone before they know it. Slow down and enjoy this wonderful time of year. Make some memories and remember some as well. Turn on some Christmas music and sing along and relax in the moment. Christmases come and go and if we are not careful we might miss this wonderful time of year. Time doesn't slow down for anyone and keeps marching on! So what to do? What should we do at Christmastime? Slow down and sing with childlike passion a Christmas song and then another and then another and then ... !

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Surrounded By Idiots!

It amazes me that God tolerates me and puts up with me in my spiritually lazy times, my angry times, and my insane times. I am so grateful that He doesn't just get rid of me. We all have our times and it's just a part of life I know. Many times we fall into temptation, fall in to sin, totally blow it at other times, and sometimes we simply act silly. Well, I know I do.
Then there are those who just don't get it. They seem to be oblivious to truth, whether it's God's truth or it's just truth about life or themselves or whatever. They are just idiots. An idiot is defined as someone who is stupid. As sad as it is, we are surrounded by them! Idiots who think they are geniuses all the while exemplifying their stupidity. Right is right and wrong is wrong, right? Right! Idiots can't see this truth. They justify wrong attitudes, wrong motives, and wrong agendas. They justify sin, hate, and ungodliness all the while claiming to be right, even right with God. Let me give an example. How many people will justify hating someone, or at the least disregarding someone who thinks differently or has an opposing view about something. Look at the different denominations there are all in the name of Jesus Christ. Someone has to be wrong and it's always the others who are. Truth has been replaced with falsehood (lies!) and right has been overruled by justified wrong! Hate has been given precedence over love. Who would do this? Stupids! Idiots! Yep, those who are all around us. Culture and society accept this, but God sure doesn't! I think we need to call a spade a spade and a stupid a stupid. Or we can call them idiots! Same thing, right? Right! There are those who are just 'stuck on stupid' and they will always be there, no matter how much we try to convince them otherwise. We shall always have those who are 'idiots'. Lord help us!