Monday, December 05, 2005

Countdown to Christmas

Advent, Advent
Eign Lichtlein brennt
Erst eins, dann zwei, dann drei, dann vier,
Und dann steht Weihnachten vor der Tur.

--Traditional German Christmas Poem

I enjoy Christmas. The account of Christ's birth in the gospel of Luke never fails to move me, despite the fact that I have had it memorized since childhood. Every year I find something new to ponder about the holiday. This year, the song "Mary Did You Know" has been going through my head quite a bit. Perhaps's that is because our church choir is singing it next Sunday. Before this year, I never knew the words to that amazing song by Mark Lowry. The words are truly inspired, and they knit together the daily with the divine in such a way that is indescribable.

For me, the Christmas season is not just filled with gift wrap and holiday parties. It is an opportunity for me to remember that the Savior of the world started His human life exactly as I did--as an infant. As I look at my life and reflect on my personal milestones from this past year, I am reminded that all of it-- the good, the bad, and the phlegmy--have been ordained for me as part of God's will.

When I am tempted to think that my life is too challenging or that it's unfair that I have CF, I need to remember that Jesus' life was chock full of unsavory circumstances. A King born in a smelly barn. That's unfair. Being laughed at for being from Nazareth. That's not fair. Being crucified for being sinless. The ultimate unfair act. Yet he endured all of it so that I might celebrate life eternal. Knowing that I have a place waiting for me beyond the trappings of this world is an awesome thought. The groundwork for that had to start somewhere, and it started visibly for the world when Christ was born in Bethlehem.

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