Thursday, December 22, 2005

Before Christmas...

If I've learned anything from Calvary Baptist Church and Phillip Yancey and the Bible is that Christmas is not, as I once expected, for the jolly alone. You look at the book of Luke and you see the Christmas story is full of people who probably didn't smile very much. Remember Herod's decree? Yeah, during the time of the birth of Jesus, little boys were being killed left and right. Remember Simeon? He was old and probably died soon after seeing Jesus for the first time, but not before he told Mary that the child would cause a sword to pierce her own soul.

All the Who's down in Whoville don't want to be hearin' this shit. But it be true, yo.

Not quite sure where the gangster talk came from, but it seemed appropriate.

I'm happy it's Christmas, but mainly because I get a couple of days off. I haven't been in a little baby Jesus mood lately. I'm looking for the Jesus on the White Horse slaying the enemy, Death Itself. The Book of Revelation Jesus is who I'm praying for.

I guess that's what Simeon and Zacharias and the Shepherds and every other Jew in the story was praying for, but they got the baby. As I support the money machine by working retail and experiencing unhappy people during this season and reflect on what it means to follow Christ in the midst of everything, I can't help but think how beautiful that is. Everyone wants the perfect gift, the perfect job, the perfect life. We want our team to win and our bellies to be full and smiles to be painted on our face but, in the end, we get the baby.

We get to claim Mary's song, that God is mighty and holy and has done great things and that his mercy is on those who fear him. He has exalted the lowly, put down the mighty. They get the power, we get the Baby.

That's good enough for me.

Everyone else is away, so it's time I be away as well. I'll get up early tomorrow morning and head to work. Straight from work I'll head to East Texas. My weekend looks like this: Tomorrow night-- Huge Nash Family Christmas in Kilgore, TX. I rarely go to these large family gatherings, but I want to start. I have a large family who know each other while I live my life in Waco. I'll try to get to know them a little over good food tomororrow night.

After that I'll head to my good friends the Herrings/Slatons/Antals in Lindale to spend Christmas Eve, as I do every year. On Sunday morning I'll head to Chandler for Christmas breakfast with my immediate family, then to church. I'll be back in Waco Sunday evening.

It's been a rough and rocky year. Heaven and Hell, Sweet and Sour, Rocky I and Rocky V, all wrapped into twelve months. I guess I'll spend next week reflecting on the year.

So here's my honest last paragraph. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas weekend. Think about me, I'm thinking about you. Know that there's power int he weakness of the Baby and that victory comes in the end, but we have to wait. Love the journey, love each other but most importantly, Love God. Seriously, he loves you. Embrace beauty, (it's as simple as smiling at a good song.) Live life to the fullest. (This may mean feeling sad and grim, but feeling sad and grim FULLY.) But most importantly, know that I love you all. Especially the ones of you that I know.

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