Thank you for your patience with my unexpected hiatus; I got quite, quite sick during November and then finals week hit with a vengeance and I just couldn’t keep doing everything. To make it up, and in honor of wonderful holidays falling on Parakaleo days, I’ll be doing back-to-back Parakaleo posts this week and next week.
As for today, I would like to share part of one of my favorite songs year-round that happens to be founded in Christmas:
“I’m torn between what keeps me whole and what tears me in half;
I’ll fall apart or stay intact.
With tired eyes I stumble back to bed;
I need to realize my sorry life’s not hanging by a thread,
At least not yet…
It always hurt to be all by myself this time of year;
A cold and lonely Christmas Eve.
And living out my days alone,
Well, that had been my deepest fear,
But You promised You won’t leave.
I look towards the east and see a star;
Jesus Christ, it’s blessed my life to know just who You are;
You are my hope.”
I love the fact that Relient K ties together the gift of Christ’s coming, that we may know Him and know God, with His ongoing gift. Through Him we have ever-increasing faith, hope, and love. Through Him we have a perfect example to represent us before God and to imitate, as we’re called to do in Ephesians. Through Him, we have eternal life (what that even is supposed to mean is a separate post). Christmas is more than a baby in a manger. It is God amongst men. The psalmist notes, “When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?” What then, is man that You loved him and became him?
I think the best Christmas gifts are the ones that show how well someone knows another person. Sometimes this is knowing and acknowledging a need, whether that be spiritual, physical, or emotional. Sometimes this is knowing a personality or characteristic (e.g. how I made my mom laugh until she cried with my note on her Christmas gift that she was not allowed to keep the box I had given her). “God only knows,” we say, too often sarcastically, but literally God only knows the depth to which I am broken. He knows how much I need love and to be made into something better. He knew what I needed the most, and how His love and purpose fits in with every quirky aspect of who I am (from the constant singing to the constant learning) and He gave of Himself the perfect gift. This is why I love Christmas. This is what we as Christians are called to do for others when Ephesians 5 starts, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
“Walk in love, as Christ loved us.” Merry Christmas, everyone!