Every year I have that moment when Christmas really hits me. The legendary True Meaning peeks out from behind the pine trees and greets me face to face. Of course at that very moment my rifle jams up, my video camera won't work, my Acme True Meaning Trap misfires . . . you pick the clumsy metaphor of your choice. Long story short, I can't capture the moment. I guess that's why they call them moments. They're so very . . . momentary.
But in that moment, the Christmas season starts for me, because the significance of the biggest step down in history really sinks in. And it makes me happy that it's Christmas.
This year, the True Meaning staged a two-pronged attack. The first campaign came from Russia, as I was writing a mini biography about one of my best and dearest friends. She has quite a story of how God swept her out of the Union formerly known as Soviet and brought her to the Land of the Free, the Home of the Brave, and the World of the Redeemed. That got me a little sensitive. And it reminded me of how personally God chases down each one of us. He didn't come down to Earth just to save the world; He came to save me.
Then punch number 2 landed. I heard a guy in chapel retelling the story of his liver transplant. The thing with liver transplants (okay, there's not just one thing, they're really complicated and dangerous) is that a living donor runs a serious risk of no longer living. And that was one reality this guy couldn't handle at the time. He could come to terms with his own mortality, but he couldn't handle the thought of any of his loved ones dying in an attempt to save him. Obviously he got over that little hang up, because he wasn't dead at the time of this chapel. The point is, a voluntary brush with death on your behalf is a truly humbling gesture (not one of those fake humbling gestures that actually inflate your ego). Someone volunteers to die for you, you get a little choked up.
I got a little choked up. The birth of Christ meant a little bit more to me, now. He came down to this planet we ruined, and He did so with the knowledge, not that He might die, but that He would. And we didn't have a chance to refuse. Had I that chance, that little window in time in which I could have said, "No, Jesus, don't do it," well . . . it's a moot point. He didn't ask.
Well, those events got me in the Christmas spirit. It's a good feeling. I wish the same for you. Merry Christmas.
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