Monday, December 01, 2008

December has rolled in. I'm not sure how. I'm not sure when. Well, okay, I know when. This morning. Bright and early. The thing is I'm still stuck somewhere back in October. Where did October go? Of course, the unseasonably warm weather probably isn't helping my misconception of time. Not that I'm complaining. Really. It could stay this way all winter long and I'd be happy. In fact, I think it's going to... oh, but I digress. The point is, it is December. That's what my calendar says today, no matter what my brain is saying. And if it's December, that means Christmas is right around the corner. The malls have been decorated for Christmas for weeks. Shoppers are going nuts and store owners are counting on significant bank deposits each night. Wrapping paper, chocolates and candy canes are filling shopping bags. Starbucks has brought out the Christmas drinks.

I love Christmas. I love the sights, the sounds, the celebrating, the time with family....I love it all. I want to try really hard to make sure that my Christmas is full of meaning. I want to make sure that I'm remembering why we celebrate. I want to make sure that there is room in my Christmas for thought and reflection and thankfulness. I want to make room for Christ this Christmas.

Today, I'm thinking about just how significant it is that God came down to earth, put on our broken flesh and lived among us, experiencing all the ages and stages that come with it. Think about the humility of that action. Here is God as an infant, completely dependent on someone else for his every need. Or as a toddler, skinning his knees as he learns to walk. Or as a five year old, running down the street with his friends. Or as a teenager, figuring out his voice as it changes from that of a boy to that of a man. Think of the things he experienced as a man that as God he could have avoided. Think of the things he felt and experienced.

I was trying to convey that with some of the kids at church a while back and the best analogy I could come up with was the princess in Aladdin. She had everything in the palace but chose to leave to experience life and, boy, was it different than she thought. She was not prepared for what she found there. Good thing Aladdin was there to keep her safe until she showed herself to be the princess and was returned to the palace, out of the mess she'd managed to get herself into. Come on, you know the part I'm talking about!

The thing is, Jesus didn't go running back. He didn't rely on his divinity to get himself out of the pain of human existence. He stuck it out. He faced it head on, to death on a cross.

Who would have thought that this baby, this boy, this man was really God?

And so today, I think of a baby who would change everything. Welcome to our world, little one.

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