Christmas

I believe in Christmas:

The virgin birth,

The Christ child,

Angels singing,

Magi traveling from afar

Peace on earth,

And good will toward men.

I believe in Christmas:

God’s personal outreach to humanity,

God’s Son as the first and greatest gift,

The Word becoming flesh to dwell among us,

The eternal king taking the manger when He deserved the throne

And the same king that will come again.

I believe in Christmas.

 

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Jesus and Joseph

Joseph raised Jesus. He provided for Him, taught Him a trade, and he loved Him. All the time he knew Jesus was not his son. Joseph set aside his rights as patriarch of the family and placed his own concerns secondary to the calling of his wife and the saving purpose of the child Messiah.

Joseph probably died before Jesus started His public ministry. Joseph was likely watching from heaven as Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, healed the sick, walked on water, and died on the cross. And then breathlessly, he waited and cheered with the excitement of a proud father as Jesus’s victory was sealed by the resurrection.

Only he wasn’t His father. This he could never allow himself to forget. Jesus has an eternal Father. Joseph was merely a steward. A proud guardian. He was privileged just to be a part of it.

So in heaven after the ascension, when everyone was pressing to see Jesus return to the throne. Joseph went with all the others, but with a different perspective.  That was the boy he raised coming home to take his glorious place.

But it’s easy to imagine that Jesus had something He wanted to do first. Instead of walking down the corridor of heaven to His eternal and righteous place beside the Father, He pressed through the crowd, found the man who had done so much for Him, and threw His arms around him.

Jesus reuniting with Joseph. Embracing the man who walked him through childhood. Jesus thanking Joseph.

And Joseph thanking Jesus.

 

The Christmas Trade

He traded heaven for earth
 
He traded the right hand of God for a stable 
He traded the throne for a manger
He traded the praise of angels for the lowing of cattle

 
 He traded distance for closeness

 He traded being served by angels for Mary’s embrace
He traded eternal comfort for the human experience
He traded legions of angles for twelve apostles

 
He traded His life for ours
 
He traded justice for mercy 
He traded comfort for self-sacrifice 
He traded continuous praise for the scorn of executioners


Merry Christmas

Reflections of Christmas

(This Flash Fiction piece was originally composed for the contest, Race the Date. It didn’t even get a mention from the judges, but I liked it a lot so I am putting it on my blog today.)

 

In the corner of the small apartment stood an old aluminum Christmas tree. The kind that comes with a color wheel and reflects all the colors of light into the room.

It was Caleb’s fifth Christmas; his second without his father. The life insurance money was almost gone. Caleb’s mom had turned to family for help but each in turn explained why they were not able.

So she downsized to balance their frail budget. And when it came to Christmas, there was meager allowance for celebration. The aluminum tree, was practically an antique, but the Goodwill purchase fit the budget.

Caleb loved it. He believed they had the most magical Christmas tree in the world.  He loved the way it glowed with color. He loved how it caught every light in the room. He would sit and watch it for hours.

Aunt Patti was bound and determined to be one of the brightest stars of Christmas. She came in with a few brightly wrapped presents, and commented on the outdated tree. She laid out some Christmas pastries and berated the tiny kitchenette. Then she made them all sing Christmas songs. Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Finally she abruptly announced she couldn’t spare any more time.

When she left Caleb was staring at the tree. The light was still on and the setting sun shined through the window, but the tree seemed darker than he had ever seen it.

Caleb’s mom pulled him away from it. They sat on the couch and opened her Bible to the Christmas story. As she finished reading Caleb gasped and pointed at the tree. It was dark outside now, but the tree shined brighter than he had ever seen it.

Caleb loved how it reflected every light in the room.