Monday, December 17, 2007

This is Christmas

Last night I narrated our church choir's Christmas production. My first lines were as follows: "I love Christmas. Don't you?"

Perhaps you see the irony.

My husband thought I couldn't pull it off with a straight face, but I did. He also thought he wouldn't be able to keep from laughing aloud, but he did, although I did hear a snicker somewhere in the crowd.

One friend accused me of lying in church. It's more like dramatic license, I say. And actually, I do like Christmas, the Baby Jesus part, God becoming flesh, making Himself nothing, taking on human likeness, you know, the Christ part of Christ-mas.

It's everything else that makes me something-less-than-merry.

Saturday night we watched "The Nativity Story" and I realized anew the amazing grace that is Christmas. Mary, humble, ordinary, accepting of the Lord's will. Joseph, humble, ordinary, obeying the will of the Lord. His tender care for Mary, as well as his faith to believe the unbelievable brought tears to my eyes.

In fact, I cried through much of the movie. I wept at the filthy cave turned birthing suite. I cried at the tiny Baby Jesus, the God man weak and helpless. The worship of the shepherds. The gifts of the wise men. The oppression of Rome and the desperation of the Jewish people.

At one point in the movie, Mary and Joseph are making their way to Bethlehem and pass through a bustling, busy street market. They pass a man loudly proclaiming the promise of the Messiah yet not realizing the fulfillment of that very promise passing right before his eyes. I thought to myself how many of us, blinded by our religious fervor, miss His holy Presence.

I know it is a movie and only a movie, not to mention a movie that takes a few liberties with the Biblical account. But its depiction of the birth of my Savior has helped me see what a miracle...what sacrifice...what grace is Christmas. Truly an indescribable Gift...

This is Christmas, Jesus coming to earth as a baby, sent to save His people from their sins. To the desperate, the ordinary, the oppressed, He came.

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us."

Matt. 1:21-23


  1. This whole post is beautiful, Lisa.

    (But I can't stop giggling over the "Perhaps you see the irony" line. My stars that made me laugh.)

  2. We watched this movie last weekend, and I too wept. THen last night, we had our church Christmas concert and I wept again. Christmas, the real reason for CHRISTmas, really is a beautiful, inconceivable thing.

  3. I really enjoyed that movie last year. Brings it all home, doesn't it?

    I wrote a poem about what the Christmas story means to me. Stop by my blog & visit. It's a sticky post, so it's on top.

  4. AMEN, sister!!! Thanks for sharing! I have loved your honesty about your feelings at Christmas.

    We just watched The Nativity Story for the first time with our kiddos the other night! It's BEAUTIFUL! I had no idea what it would be like - incredibly worshipful! I want to watch it again without the kiddos b/c with our young one's I was a little distracted. But my husband cried at all the parts you shared!

    Brings to life this story we know so well, but have little ability to understand!

  5. I really enjoyed The Nativity Story too. We also watched it recently to give some perspective to the season.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. It's all good. I haven't purchased the first gift yet. And I'm not freaking out. I can be way behind and completely freaking out or way behind and not freaking out. Still behind no matter what, so I choose not freaking out. It is what it is. I hadn't really felt any "Christmas spirit" yet, but last night I put on "It Feels Like Christmas Again" by Jeff and Sheri Easter. Now THAT's a GREAT CD. And a great song! I've never seen the Nativity Story. Thanks for the recommendation!

  7. Well the church service I went to was so simple and beautiful yesterday I wept. I make it a practice to carry a hanky everywhere I go these days. Haven't seen that movie yet. I'm going to watch it this weekend...

  8. I love that movie,too...I had tears last year when I saw it for the first time in the theatre...such a beautiful movie!!! It will be a staple for our family at Christmas...I understand your thoughts about Christmas and agree.

  9. You always have such a beautiful way of articulating things.

    I watched this movie for the first time last week w/ my 6 year old. It was really a home school project because we were studying Christmas, but turned into so much more - especially for her. It really brought the meaning alive and she got it!

    Thank you for sharing.

  10. I really enjoyed that movie last year. Brings it all home, doesn't it?

    I wrote a poem about what the Christmas story means to me. Stop by my blog & visit. It's a sticky post, so it's on top.