I can only imagine...
Well...it is here! It is Christmas Eve and my heart is full. I have spent much time this season remembering and thinking about Christmas past, as I usually do, all the while preparing for Christmas present. So many memories of good Christmas times; and enough that were not so good. I love watching my mom's old slide shows and Super 8 movies of days gone by. It allows me, if just for a moment, to relive those "glory days", and feel so, so many emotions; both joyful and sometimes painful.
One of my favorite memories was of "saying my piece" of the Christmas story along with the rest of the kindergartners in the front of the church at the Christmas Eve service. Or another year playing the angel; or was it a sheep? Always wanting to be Mary, just like the other little girls...
Today, on the way to church, I heard once again Mark Lowry's song, "Mary did you Know" (this version is by Pentatonix - sorry about the ad.) and listened intently to the words and really reflected on the fact that Mary was holding the Creator of the universe in her arms! Wow! To think that when Mary kissed her little Baby, she kissed the face of God! ...or fed Him or changed His diaper...she was doing so for God Himself! ...let that sink in a moment.
Then in service today we watched a video of people from different ethnicity recite the Christmas Story, piece by piece, in their own language... Wow, again! So powerful! To realize that one day, we will all stand witness with others; representing the whole world; to wait and watch as God reveals His perfect plan in a tiny Baby...to see, first hand, the birth of Jesus that very first Christmas... Well, at least that is what I imagine, not so sure how it will all work.
Once again my thoughts shifted to the families that will be "one less" this Christmas, but this time my perspective changed... This Christmas, maybe those who have passed this year will get that opportunity; to witness Jesus' birth as if they were right there; not watching a movie of it...! To think of the pain of missing them so much, to wanting to do whatever it takes to have them back here for one more Christmas around the tree with us... to thinking about what they will be privileged to see, with a front row view, for the very first time...I don't want to take that away from them... again, I can only imagine.
As we remember the one that we are without this Christmas time, I pray for a new Peace in our hearts. Peace that reminds us of where they are now and with Whom they will be spending their Christmas. Let's try to put that thought in our hearts as we celebrate this Christmas with those still here to share new memories and revisit Christmas' past with a special kind of joy and thankfulness for those memories too.
Merry Christmas! God bless us, everyone.