22 Dec The Modern Magic of Christmas
The Christmas season is in full swing. This has significantly different impacts on people. For children, it’s incredibly exciting and joyful. For working moms, it can bring stress and overwhelming anxiety. For people mourning a loss, it can bring a deeper, more acute reminder of pain. But, no matter who we are today, my hope is to bring some element of magic.
Despite the commercialism and, unfortunately, undermining its true meaning, Christmas has endured in modern times. I can still focus on and enjoy some of the very simplest, most precious gifts the holiday brings to all of us.
The very first Christmas was simple, unadorned, undecorated, and full of God’s blessing for all humankind. Despite being hugely different today, with all the lights, sounds, music, gifts, and food, some original magic isn’t lost.
Everyone knows the story. God favored a young virgin named Mary and sent an angel to inform her she would bear the savior of the world. She traveled to Bethlehem with her husband Joseph, where she ended up delivering God’s incarnate, Jesus Christ, and wise men brought gifts to the newborn child. The world rejoiced at having a new direct path with God himself – forever changing the relationship between all people and God in heaven. What a story!! It really truly doesn’t get any better than that.
Some of the oldest, most traditional Christmas song verses remind me of some of the magic of that incredible night. “O Holy Night,” for example, says, “Fall on your knees, oh hear the angels voices, oh night divine, oh night when Christ was born.” Just allow yourself to truly hear those words and imagine! Falling on your knees at the sight of a precious newborn who would ultimately be the savior of the world! It’s amazing! It’s absolutely magical. I was out finishing up some holiday shopping a few days ago when I stopped at a light in downtown Mansfield and looked to my right at a man on a bench in the cold with what appeared to be his belongings beside him in a trash bag, with the bible open on his lap. He was intently focused on it, reading aloud, lips moving quickly, and appeared to be very absorbed and intrigued by whatever verse he was reading. This pierced my soul deeply and elicited so many emotions. Here we all are, out driving around spending money, loading up trunks with material items, and complaining about this or that. This man appears not to have much money or fortune, but with the most important piece of literature on his lap and focusing on the MOST important things, especially during this Christmas season. He is wealthy in the best way. Wow! That is magical. You never know how God is going to speak to you. Merry Christmas