Of course because my heart attitude was wrong I still felt exhausted even with the little I did do and was unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the True meaning of Christmas because there was no Joy in my heart.
My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season fora six year old. For weeks, he’d been memorizing songs for his School’s “Winter Pageant.”
I didn’t have the heart to tell him I’d be working the night of the production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me there would be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.
So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.
Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as “Christmas,” I didn’t expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer.
So, when my son’s class rose to sing, “Christmas Love,” I was slightly taken aback by its bold title. Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snow-caps upon their heads.
Those in the front row- centre stage – held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song. As the class would sing “C is for Christmas,” a child would hold up the letter C. Then, “H is for Happy,” and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, “Christmas Love.”
The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter “M” upside down – totally unaware her letter “M” appeared as a “W”.
The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one’s mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her “W”. Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen.
In that instant, we understood the real reason we were there, why we celebrated Christmas and not a holiday, why even in the chaos that we create,there was a purpose for our festivities. For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear…
“C H R I ST W A S L O V E”
Yes Jesus Christ sent as a man was sent in Love, and He is the Love gift from our Heavenly Father sent to save mankind and bring us into a relationship with Him for Eternity. He is God incarnate a gift of extreme sacrifice and Love and, as we worship Him in our hearts He is the greatest gift of Love we can receive.
Amazed in His presence, Humbled in repentance, Lifted by His Love, Thankful in Joy.
Music – Joy To The World – Disney
Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King.
Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room,
And heav’n and nature sing.
Joy to the earth! the Savoir reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy.
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.
He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love.
by Isaac Watts, 1719