16 December 2010

Jesus in every day of my life

As I allow the awe of this season of Advent to surround and fill me I look back at Christmas pasts, all of the years I opened gifts but in ignorance did not unwrap Jesus.

Heaven was a place that other people talked about, the same people that celebrated Christmas. I wanted Christmas, with it's lights and trees and angels. What about a tree? We could decorate a Hanukkah bush? One year I was allowed to hang a stocking on Christmas eve and by morning, it had turned into a pair of tights, filled with a stuffed hippo that wouldn't fit into the original sock. Something about being too big to fit didn't comfort me at all, but I did love that hippo. My mother tried to convince me that I was much luckier to celebrate Hanukkah and get presents for eight nights in a row instead of only one morning. I wasn't buying it. It wasn't about the presents; I knew that even then, but about the whole sense of Christmas, and family and love. I couldn't have put my finger on it, and I didn't know anything at all about Jesus except for the Christmas carols that played all through the season. I loved to sing those beautiful songs, but when it came to the name Jesus I couldn't make myself sing it out. Perhaps something deep in my spirit knew and refused to speak the name of the Lord in vain. I sang about herald angels, I sang about glory, I sang about a baby in a manger without a crib. I sang without an ounce of understanding for my family didn't believe. Sometimes it wasn't any easier to be Jewish than it was to be fat. My eyes displayed the sorrow of carrying the shame of both.

With an apartment to call my own, I was able to decorate for the Christmas I had always desired. The first year I bought a real tree that was small but filled my home with the scent of fresh pine. Strings of coloured lights came next, and then special ornaments picked out with great care. There were angels and santas and penguins and elves. There was a star for the tree top. Noticeably absent was the reason for the holiday, Jesus Himself. But it was pretty and it was the first time I had Christmas. I had friends come to drink hot cocoa and Irish coffee and played tapes of Christmas music I had purchased on sale. “Have yourself a merry little Christmas” I sang along. Then December 24th and 25th came, all of my friends had places to go and families to share with, and I found myself once again without the Christmas I knew I wanted. I went to visit family, not really knowing what it was I was lacking, yet feeling the ache of its absence.

Moving forward in time, I find myself, a new believer, sharing my first real Christmas with the family who had introduced me to the Lord:

The evening came to decorate the Christmas tree and as I had brought some of my own ornaments along from home I was able to take part in the fun of sharing the task with others. I had always decorated alone in my apartment while wishing I had family that would join in. When the last ornament was hung, the last strand of tinsel draped from the branches, there came my favorite part of all. Kerry turned off all the lights in the house except for the multi-coloured tree lights. There was a hush, then “oohs” and “ahhhs” as the glittering lights reflected in the living room window. I had baked that day, and we had hot tea and cookies as we all sat back, relaxed, and admired the beauty of the tree and the significance of the season.

My Christmas's never had Jesus in them” I told them.

No Jesus in Christmas?” asked Tanya, the youngest child “Then there's no Christmas at all!”

I felt that perhaps I was the youngest of all, at least in the things of God.

We want this to be the best Christmas ever for you” added Brynn “and from now on, all of your days will have Jesus in them.”

You've got a deal” I laughed “Jesus in every day of my life.”

What about you?  Have you unwrapped Jesus?  Join Bonnie at The Faith Barista and share your story.



Anonymous said...

What a testimony and story, Karin. Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing it. Be blessed...

Anonymous said...

I love this!! What a beautiful story you've shared! :) Thank you for reminding me that if there's no Jesus in my Christmas then there's no Christmas at all.

Lisa notes... said...

What a beautiful testimony you have! I'm so glad I clicked over here to read this. It really has blessed my evening.

Joy said...

I'm so moved by the way you knew that Christmas was more than trees and gifts, even as a young girl.

Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...

best wishes for your holiday...

faith is cool
when it enlightens you.

Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...


I wonder if you are interested in poets rally,
Link in a random poem, visit and comment…
Poets return favors and follow the rules, thus, hope that you won’t miss your opportunity to make new poetry friends…

Happy Friday!
Stay Blessed!

Sandra Heska King said...

Oh, I love your heart's longing for Christmas--for Jesus. And I love the way you unwrap your heart.

And I love little Tanya.

“No Jesus in Christmas?” asked Tanya, the youngest child “Then there's no Christmas at all!”

Wise one she.

Unknown said...

I love that part, "Jesus everyday of my life." Oh, yeah!" You've blessed me in such a huge way. Thank you :D