Thursday, December 6, 2007

Stepping Into His World

It's that shiny time of the year again. Houses shine, trees shine, kids shine, even churches shine. Everything that can does, with the possible exception of shoes. The whole thing has precious little to do with Christ, but I love it none the less and look forward to it every year. Not the shine, though I am a sucker for Christmas trees, it has much more to do with getting together with my family. I always feel a pang for those who can't get together with theirs.

It wasn't always so. As I kid, the holiday hype always set me up for disappointment. My father's alcoholism, like a proverbial storm, never failed to cloud our Bethlehem nights and blow away whatever warmth the day portended. The eternal optimism of childhood with its notoriously short memory, brushed the detritus of the last years disaster under the rug at the first glimpse of the Grinch or Rudolph on the TV screen. Anticipation shifted into gear, and quickly accelerated to full speed, incognizant of the upcoming bend in the road.

Things began to change once I became a Christian. Discovering the reason for the season shed a new light on its celebration.
God, the Father sending his Son, as one of us, to live like us, among us, in family centered the holiday on something other than hype. The picture of the holy family displaced Santa on the rooftop stumbling toward the chimney blinded by the lights of the season (not that I believed in Santa mind you). The joy of seeing family and enjoying time together, celebrating life and the blessing of God became the heart of the holiday for me.

That God himself would step into our world, as one of us, not only to walk a mile in our moccasins, but also, and more primarily, to do for us
what we could not do for ourselves provides more than enough wonder to fuel all the celebrations of Christmas the world will ever see. For so many, however, that's where the thought ends, but I think we would do well to lift our eyes just a little higher on the horizon. I am grateful for the work of the lamb of God and am so glad he came, but I'm absolutely astonished at his ultimate goal: he stepped into our world like us, so that we could step into his world, like him.


Flyawaynet said...

"...he stepped into our world like us, so that we could step into his world, like him."

What a great thought.
Merry Christmas

Anonymous said...

Excellent!!! Hugs and blessings to you.

SLW said...

Thanks flyaway and Rita for checking in. Have a great Christmas season!

Heanous said...

I agree with Flyaway, that's a quotable quote!!! Awesome point!!!

SLW said...

May your season be bright! I know that you in particular will enjoy it more with someone to share it with. God bless.

Paul said...

Stephen, I hope you have a very happy and blessed Christmas — you, your family, and your church.

Anonymous said...


SLW said...

Nancy & Paul,
Blessings of the seasons to you both.