(Written November, 2011)
In early November I got out the Thanksgiving decorations box. I carefully unwrapped a ceramic pilgrim man and put him on the buffet. Our three year-old granddaughter, Arianna, gasped with wonder and said,… “Jesus!”
I had to tell her, “No, it’s a pilgrim.”
I unwrapped the matching pilgrim lady and again Arianna whispered, …”Jesus.”
“No,” I responded, “Another pilgrim.”
We hadn’t been talking about Jesus. We don’t have statues of him standing around our house and yet when something new and wonderful was taken out to be displayed she just assumed it had to be Jesus.
When the first snow came in November she squealed and said, “God sent the snow.”
“Yes, Arianna, God sent the snow.”
I smile at her simple happiness and wish I could rewind my life to a simpler time. My grown-up heart is cynical. I have lived in this broken world too long to be optimistic. The reality is, life is hard. It isn’t how God intended. We have each royally messed up.
…And so we have Christmas. Not to distract us from what is bad in our lives. Not to have a month of gift giving and parties. We have Christmas because God promised he would send a redeemer all those years ago when our first parents sinned.
Just as Adam and Eve chose sin over God, we have chosen our own selfish ways. Instead of turning our face to God we turn our faces inward. We turn them anywhere but toward God. And yet…
“God so loved the world… (God so loved me, you) that He gave…” He gave his son, not only to be born, but eventually to die for my lost condition. What a marvelous hope!
So I stay close to Arianna. As she delights in Christmas and wants to learn all about the baby and what God did, I feel my own heart melting. It is becoming a little more childlike. As I tell her about the great God who loves her, I am reminded of just how great He is.
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:76-79