December is a month that lends itself to many things; here in Buenos Aires, we enter into the full swing of summertime, everything is thriving, there are more people in the parks drinking mate together, having picnics, playing and more. It is said that you can even tell a difference in the congregation, that there is more joy as we sing praises.
Personally, it’s one of the months I enjoy the most because the school age youth are finishing their classes, which means more time to share together. When they are out on break, we are looking for ways just to “be present” before the end of the year arrives and as Christmas fast approaches.
I want to pause and give s few thoughts on Christmas; it is the holiday that I most enjoy and the perfect season to reunite with the ones we love and invite them to be part of our home’s traditions: eat, decorate the tree, turn on the lights and listen to Christmas music. Even more than this wonderful time of fellowship, the feeling of being united and accepted, Christmas challenges me and inspires me to think about the Savior, our great Savior that was born in an animal's stable.
Christmas reminds me that it’s about Him and focusing on Him above all the chaos that this season can bring. Believers or not, this is the time when people listen to music that speak of Jesus, all of the songs about the Savior that came into the world, about a baby boy that was born. Hearts are receptive and open to think about someone other than themselves. Christmastime takes us from thinking of ME and helps us to think of HIM.
He, who decided to become a man because He loved us.
He, who many times didn’t have a place to lay his head, but provides a roof for me.
He, who knows what it is to hunger, and yet has always provided my daily bread.
He, who has known weariness, calls me to His arms so that He can carry my burden.
He, who has experienced the worst affliction, knows how to comfort and hold me in my
He, who came to this world, because no other thing or one could provide my salvation.
He, who is Immanuel, God with us.
Christmas pushes me to seek for Him in the Word, with the desire to know of Him from the beginning of creation to his arrival to this world.
It makes me think about his mother Mary and her courage to say, “I am the Lord’s servant, let it be with me just as you have said.” Luke 1:38
I am moved to celebrate the announcement of the shepherds, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ, the Lord.” Luke2:10-11
I think about His own voice saying, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18-19
It all moves me to dwell on His humble humanity, to allow His words to resound deep inside me, seeing Him completely human and completely divine and to surrender before the kindness and goodness of the Savior.
And all these thoughts are not because of Christmastime in itself, but it is the result of truly dwelling on who He is, the Savior who was laid in a manger, who became God with us.
My desire for this season is that Jesus can be the center of every celebration, that we can seek to have intimacy with Him, knowing Him more and more so that our lives can be transformed to be like His. I want who He is to impact us so much that we can stop seeing only ME so that we can focus on our neighbor, putting His love into action to embrace the one who needs a hug, be family to those who have none nearby, help clean a friend’s home, cook a meal for someone, accompany the one who is alone, and in everything, learn to give of ourselves as the gift to bless another, just like Jesus has done for us.