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Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Season of Joy!

As I grow older, I have left the hurry, worry scurry of Christmas behind. I will decorate when I have time, I will not worry about getting cards out, or gifts bought and wrapped. I am finally at peace with the true meaning of Christmas. It is a Birthday!  The most important birthday ever. He wants me focused on Him, and those He needs me to minister to. 

I put up some decorations, but I keep it simple. I buy gift cards, because I don't pretend to know what kids and grandkids want. Am I being selfish? I hope not. I just don't need stuff to celebrate my Jesus' birthday!  I would rather focus on spending time with friends and family, just loving each other, and building memories. 

One of those memories for many years has been Westside Church Pageant. I don't sing or dance, can't memorize lines, but I do what I can do. I have been blessed to be an animal handler. I love all animals, so this is a great way to be a part of the pageant. Each year we have camels, sheep, goats, chickens, and baby animals. To see children and adults faces light up, when given a chance to see these animals up close, and get to pet them, is a joy. You can hear the audience let out a sigh when the first animal appears. 

We have been blessed to make sure children in wheel chairs, or who 
have an illness, get special time to love on these animals. Usually someone will alert us to who in the audience needs this extra touch. The animals themselves don't always cooperate. That in itself ensures memorable moments. One year I had a Pygmy goat. He was fine the first few nights, then decided he had had enough. He would go down the aisle with coaxing but then would stop and not move. Finally by the last performance, we had to carry him. One year a horse got loose on busy Dodge Street in Omaha, and we finally corralled him in a parking lot. Camels spit, camels kick sideways, so you never know what will happen.

This year I also get to be part of the Magi, as we pay tribute to Jesus, and bring Him gifts! In all these presentations, we are brought to the very reason we do this! It is all about Jesus! This fun and time of team work is not about our abilities. It is about God sending His only son to a world deep in sin. We are just the tools God uses to bring His Gospel to the lost!

No matter what your traditions, or how frantic and busy you get this season, it is not about that! God put His plan in place long ago, because He knew we would need help. When we sin, we put ourselves far from God! He is perfect and can not associate with sin! He brought His son, Jesus to this world as a common baby, to grow up into a perfect sacrifice for us. Jesus shed all the blood He had on the cross to cover us, so God would see us as clean. When you take His free gift of salvation, you are clean, you are assured a place in Heaven with God!  That is this season for me! 

Will you put aside the hurry, the shopping, and the activity to sit quietly at Jesus feet? Will you honor Him, instead of things this Christmas?  It's O.K. To do gifts, and decorating, and baking, but don't make them the center of your Christmas!  If you make it about Jesus, all the other things will fall into place! May you have a joyful time, and let your memories be of a tiny baby, born  to all of us who saves you from your sin!