Christmas

Today, I was sitting in church listening to the sermon, and I realized something. The priest started off by telling a couple humorous stories about the kids in his religion classes, and then he started talking about the season of advent. He told us that this was the most beautiful season of the year, and that it was about preparing for the coming of Jesus, our savior. But how do we prepare for this?

For most people, if you brought up ‘preparing’ for Christmas, they’d tell you their preparation consists of putting lights outside the house, and setting up a tree in the living room. I used to look at Christmas that way when I was little. I recognized that it was about the birth of Jesus, but honestly I didn’t look forward to it because of that. I might’ve looked forward to it because of the family and friends that came to visit, but of course I looked forward to the gifts that would be waiting when I woke up.

But preparing for Jesus is about being thankful for the gifts that God has already given us, not the ones that our family and friends put under the tree.
At this point, the priest said something that really caught my attention. What about our simple abilities that we take for granted everyday? The fact that we can see the beautiful lights, taste the snowflakes on our tongue, hear the Christmas carols, and feel the bitter winter wind on our skin? These are all gifts from God. Sometimes around Christmas we’re so preoccupied with buying gifts and rushing around that we fail to appreciate those things.

God gave us the ability to love someone. It’s the parents that get up at ridiculous hours in the morning to purchase things for their children, even when they don’t get appreciated since their kids think Santa brought them. It’s the joy in a child’s eyes when they imagine the magic of a man living in the North Pole, and the trust that he’s going to remember them on Christmas Eve. It’s a boyfriend and a girlfriend watching movies when it’s cold outside, and the brothers and sisters pushing each other down snowy hills way too fast. It’s a little girl with her father, catching snowflakes on their tongues while making snow angels on the ground. These are all examples of love. It’s the baby boy that was born in a stable filled with farm animals, the same one that died on a cross so that we might all be able to enjoy these gifts, and celebrate his life someday. That’s what love is.

When Christmas gets closer, being thankful is how we should be preparing for the coming of Jesus. Not just buying presents and putting lights up on the roof.





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