Come Let Us Adore Him
I'll admit, Christmas has been different for me this year. Very different. This past year has been my “debut” year – last Christmas I had never published anything, didn't know any writers, didn't have this blog, and the Roman Soul Series wasn't even a thought.
Needless to say, a lot has changed.
But with that change has come what always comes with “real life” - the stress, the busyness, the lack of time for anything but work. Plus my personal life took a turn recently, and though it's wonderful, all of it has kept me, well, busy. And I haven't stopped until right this moment – about 8:00 am on Dec 23rd – to realize that IT'S CHRISTMAS.
And that's a new feeling for me. But it might not be for you. It might be perfectly normal for the hustle and bustle to wrap you up and refuse to let you loose. This world has a way of doing that, and lately I've had a very hard time remembering the true meaning of Christmas.
But as always, it all comes back to writing, and it's the same for me when I reflect over this past year. Most of it has been focused on the Roman Soul Series (and though I'm sure most of you know about it, I'll give you a reminder, because I'm getting to a point here). The series focuses on the very core of who Christ is, from the eyes of the Roman Soldier who put the nails through Christ's hands.
I haven't really shared much about my actual experience when writing it, but I'd like to know if any of you, as writers, can imagine what it's like to describe that? Until I did it, I had no idea what it would feel like. When we write, we become our characters, and I literally had to become the one who drove stakes through the hands of my Savior, and watched Him die in agony. Needless to say, that took a lot out of me, and since then I have had a whole new look on life, and Christ Himself.
A deeper, more personal POV.
And during this Christmas season, that's really all I've been able to see. Not just the sweet, innocent child lying in a manger, but the adult He grew to be, and the sacrifice – all the more personal for me – that He gave. We tend to separate the two – Christmas and Resurrection Day – because they happen at different times of our year, and 33 years apart back then. But they go hand in hand so well, and that's what I've observed.
One without the other means nothing. God With Us means nothing unless we realize WHY He was with us. Why He gave up His throne to come here. It wasn't just to come for a visit – He had a purpose, a mission, a goal. One that ended up killing Him.
It's crazy enough to try to fathom the one thought – that God Himself would come to earth in human form, humble Himself to that level in the first place. Then to stop and think that He did it just so He could die, well, that takes it to a whole new level. A sobering, unbelievable level that hardly goes with tinsel and Christmas light, one would think.
But you know something? It does. Because we are celebrating the start of not only one life, but every life. On Christmas Day, Christ was born in a stable, in a world that was dark, scared, and utterly hopeless. Can you imagine what it was like before then, when there was no hope of eternity or salvation? When no one knew what their future held, or who was going to save them? That hopelessness died Christmas day, because He was born.
Jesus' life started that day, and with Him, every single life did too. Every life that would ever live truly, really started living on that day, because that's when hope was born. I was reading a verse the other day that had a very personal meaning for me, in light of the recent events of my personal life:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Hope and a future, for every single one of us. And that future doesn't start today. That future didn't even start the day you were born. That hope and that future started for you 2,000 years ago, the day God became one of us. The day His hope flooded the world, and the day His future – which held nothing for Him but a cross – began. Because His future brought our futures hope.
And that's what we're celebrating.