I told Mike and Mom they would think I am crazy! I was doing my best to pick my self up from the hurt I was experiencing. As most people, I have "my seat" in the den and it looks straight at the television. I replaced it with music. Some praise and worship and Rod Stewart's great American songbook that reminds me of my Dad. Feel good music. Then I decided I needed something to look at that gave me hope - a constant reminder of hope. A lit Christmas tree! Mom and Mike agreed. When I told a neighbor and another friend, they loved it and said they would do the same thing. I could feel the difference as we put up the Christmas tree. I look at it and I smile. It reminds me of Jesus in the room with me. It reminds me I have so much to celebrate! And it is like a big billboard with beautiful lights reminding me how much Jesus loves Jill!
This has nothing to do with commercializing Christmas - this has everything to do with Jesus! Just like we say we are Easter people, we are Christmas people. Christmas is a time to remember the birth of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. It is a time to be surrounded by people we love. It is a reminder of how much God loves us. He loved us enough to send His only Son to die for our sins. Romans 5: 8, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
God knew what would happen to His Son. Mark 15: 19-20, "Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him." This breaks my heart! When I went to the Holy Land and stood in the pit where Jesus was, my heart absolutely broke. He suffered so much just so I could spend eternity with my Heavenly Father.
I always think about the fact that God had all the power in the world but He humbled Himself to be a lowly human and to experience all that we would experience. Hebrews 2: 9, "But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. There is nothing we will ever go through that Jesus does not understand. God had all the power in the world to change things for His Son but He sent His Son to die for our sins. All of this was done so we can spend eternity with our Heavenly Father. John 3: 16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." This is what Christmas is all about! We are so loved and cared for and who couldn't use that good news?
Because of Jesus' birth, God is always near us. Jesus told the disciples He would be with them. John 14: 26, "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." He told them He would never leave them. Deuteronomy 31: 6, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” And the best part is John 14: 16, "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—" God is always with us for always! He is Immanuel - God with us! That is what my Christmas tree reminds me of in the tough times. Christmas is not just a day, it is a state of mind! God is with us!