Merry Christmas! I was planning on writing earlier in the day but I was too busy being lazy. I’m at the tail end (I hope) of a cold, so my energy is kaput. My Dad’s side of the family postponed Christmas dinner til the weekend due to a family flu outbreak. Yikes. 2 days before Christmas, too!
Let’s see…2 days before Thanksgiving, my pug died. Two days before Christmas, the family gets the flu and I get stuck with a head cold. The holiday season this year was just out to get me, I think.
I love the Christmas season. So happy, cheerful, and full of joy and anticipation. Advent is one of my favorite times of the year- to sit and wait in anticipation for the arrival of Christmas, the celebration of Christ’s birth. It’s usually a beautiful, reverent time of the year.
I just couldn’t get into it this year. Any of it- the Christmassy stuff or the advent-y stuff. Well, I take that back; I did get into the Christmas spirit… in November. You know, before Christmas. Then I lost it.
I think a good mix of things contributed to this- losing Sebastian so suddenly, school stress, finals (don’t even get me started on my online class… I’m still quite bitter about it), and overall just not ready to come home to a pug-less house. I was pretty down and out.
Somehow, I muddled through… but that’s all I could do. I couldn’t get into it, at all. I listened to Christmas music (ad nauseam), got excited about buying Christmas presents, wrapped said Christmas presents, helped bake Christmas cookies- but nothing really got me into the spirit of it, really.
If anything, the one thing that’s made any dent in my spirit is music. I wrote last year about a non-Christmas carol that I fell in love with, the same thing happened this year- even when I wasn’t feeling it.
It’s only for irony’s sake that it happened to be a Dave Barnes song. Seriously. Gotta love it. The song, “When Love Was Born”, is off his newest Christmas album… the one I bought and started listening to on Halloween. (Don’t judge). The whole album is awesome, but this song got to me.
(Blogspot’s Youtube app was being goofy and wouldn’t show the video of the song, so here’s a link to it.): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ait7AaljIc0
I watched an interview where he said the song was based off of Mary Did You Know?, (which has quickly become a favorite of mine), but from Joseph’s perspective. The lyrics are so thoughtful:
Or did he calm you when Love was born?
Was it a silent night?
Do you think He knew what He came here for?
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16
The wonderfully wise Bob Goff said this today: “After today in Bethlehem, love had a new name; it meant we didn’t have to be who we used to be anymore.”
Love has a new name. Love, as God made it, was born, and is alive still today- all because of Jesus’ birth that holy night. And His love changed the world that night, but more importantly: his love changes us. It’s still changing us. It’s changing me. I know it is, even when I don’t feel it, or understand it.
He changed the world before He took a step or said a world- He changed the world by simply being. All because of a helpless babe born in a manger, the world as it was known was forever changed- and forever fully loved.
And if there’s anything that could give me a glimmer of joy this season, it’s remembering why we celebrate- because that love was born.