Monday, December 19, 2011

“What is Christmas? Really”

Merry Christmas for the Henegars

While preparing for Christmas going through stuff, I paused out of my task as my ADD kicked in. As I totally got off task, I began to look through a box of old pictures taken during Christmas time. As I flipped through each one, it occurred to me that each Christmas season is occasion for marking. Each Christmas season for all of us is a point in our lives for marking time. We remember Christmas’ past as a child. Our memories are flood with recollections of our first Christmas as a married couple, our first Christmas as parent, buying our first Christmas tree, and each house and location we spent our memorable Christmases. Marking time can be a joyful, awesome, warm feeling of celebrating of traditions but it can also be a time for sorrow. We mark time by remembering those loved ones that have passed away in between this Christmas and last year. We can feel sadness and remembering the first Christmas spent without that person who has died, left, or is no longer in our life. Then there is the feelings that arise as we compare the details, events, and changes that have occurred between this Christmas and last. We compare and contrast our life, our relationships, and our careers. Maybe because Christmas is conveniently located next to New Years that it provides a time for making mental notes and marking our life for the year to come.

Christmas is also a time of remembering Christ’s story. We go back to the original story of Christmas. A baby born in a small village named Bethlehem, by a young engaged couple, who was traveling to be counted by the government. Like most all young engaged couple they had no money for their journey, either they couldn’t afford a hotel, were not responsible enough and didn’t make advance reservations, or because Mary was pregnant traveled slower than the rest they arrived late. Whatever the reason, Mary & Joseph had no where to stay but a barn. It was here in this barn, on the road traveling, in a very unassuming way; Mary gave birth to a baby. Quietly in the middle of now where, no one around, Jesus was born and time for all humanity was marked. It was here the Messiah, the King of Kings, the Savior; the One whom everyone had waited for thousand of years to arrive was born. The One, everyone has been waiting for, dreaming of, and had been anticipating to come save them had finally arrived. For all who believe, it was this first Christmas that time was marked as Christ stepped out of heaven and marked the single greatest event of all humankind. Christmas is not holiday and the reason we celebrate. The reason we celebrate Christmas is because Jesus Christ’s, God’s son, stepped out of heaven into earth’s scene to bring us hope and the ability to dream. That is only reason why we gather for worship, light candles, sing familiar songs, and invite others to join us. That is why Christmas we mark time. That is why we say, “Merry Christmas!”
May God bless you and yours this Christmas season.
Merry Christmas,
Tommy, Kellie, Abby, and Will Henegar

Monday, December 12, 2011

Perceptions: What’s Missing In Life

Ted and his wife Helen could not have any children. If they had they would have been great parents, they were a couple full of excitement, adventure, and dreams. Their life would have been full of love and joy. Ted started as a cartoonist but soon began to write. As a writer and he would even dedicate his books to three factious children he and Helen made up.

Ted wrote a story about a fictional, bitter, cave-dwelling creature with a heart "two sizes too small” which lives on snowy Mount Crumpit, a steep high mountain just north of Whoville, home of the merry and warm-hearted Whos. His only companion is his faithful dog, Max. From his lonely perch high atop Mount Crumpit, the Grinch can hear the noisy Christmas festivities that take place in Whoville. Annoyed and unable to understand the Whos' love and joy, he makes plans to descend on the town and deprive them of their Christmas presents, Who-ham and decorations and thus "prevent Christmas from coming."
If he can take away their gifts, he can take away their love and joy, and Christmas will never come to Whoville? However, he learns in the end that despite his success in taking away all the Christmas presents and decorations from the Whos, Christmas comes just the same. He then realizes that Christmas is more than just gifts and presents, its love and joy. Touched by this, his heart grows three sizes larger; he returns all the presents and trimmings and is warmly welcomed into the community of the Whos.
Ted, known to all as Dr. Seuss, after becoming the first children’s book author to win a Pulitzer Prize, revealed near the end of his life that the Grinch was really him, as the love and joy of parenthood escaped him. To all parents and grandparent go and reread “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss again or watch the cartoon movie version with your children or grandchildren by your side. Now knowing about Dr. Seuss’s lifelong search for love and joy, I promise you will have a different perspective. Maybe we have to view the world for a moment through the eyes of someone searching for love and joy to appreciate the gifts in our own life.
Love & Joy,