Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas... once upon a time

Once upon a time... there was a God who created a world and placed a special creation of His as His very representative over the rest of the creation. This representative was called "man". Man enjoyed a very unique and intimate relationship with God. Man knew who he was and who God was, and he enjoyed his relationships with God, other men, and all of creation. Everything was in it's right place.
But things went wrong. Man choose to leave that right relationship with God. Sadly, man's relationship with woman and all of creation was dependent on his relationship with God. Man no longer lived in joy and peace, but in pain and frustration. He wanted so badly to get back to that place where he once was. With God. With other men. With creation. All of his life, he tried to get back to that place. The problem was that man couldn't restore the relationship, only God could. But God is a just God and knew that the only way to restore the relationship was the right way, the just way. So God came down Himself as a man. He became The Man. He came down and lived the life that man had created, one filled with brokenness and pain. God, became man, suffered, and died- all to restore that relationship that man had ruined. And being The Man, He lived perfectly, always trusting God, always living in light of the relationship He had with God.
The great news is that His life as the perfect man, granted Him the right to a restored relationship with God. Now, He offers that right to all men. Whichever man comes to Him, to God, receives the right to a restored relationship with God.

What a beautiful story! This is the story I live everyday. Even Christmas. To be honest, I don't really like Christmas. The music, the lights, the fruitcake. Without going deep into my psyche, I will just say that Christmas is not my favorite time. I don't like pretending to be jolly and happy, and yet I feel like I am forced to when everyone around me seems to be living the "Winter Wonderland" life.
In the past I have handled this season in different ways. I used to try to fit my square life into the circle peg of Christmas, screaming the inadequacies of my life from the rooftops until everyone I loved felt the arrow I inadvertently had pointed in their direction. This of course only led to pain and lonliness. When I realized that my method was not producing the happy family scenes that the CBS family Christmas movie, I changed my tactic. I decided to ignore Christmas. This worked, kinda. But there was something still wrong. I couldn't take away the fact that everyone around me was enjoying the time. Was it wrong to like Christmas? Was it wrong that these people around me were so happy?
My jealousy had almost blinded me to the gift that Christmas gives us. The Lord created us to be in relationships. With Him, with others. We are so far from it yet still we strive to reach that closeness with others. We long for intimacy. Few times in the year is this expressed more clearly than Christmas time. At Christmas we see all our desire for restored relationships out in the open. Moms and daughters laughing over old photos, Dads and sons watching football. Stories, laughter, more stories. Aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, second cousins' hairdressers. You get the picture. At Christmas we get a glimpse of the very thing the Lord created us for. Now that is something I can thank God for.

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