Sunday, December 16, 2007

Reality of the Christmas Story, how human it is

Today at our church, I had witnessed my first born's first participation in a Christmas Pagent. This year, her group were sheep, and were lead on stage during the hymn "Upon a Midnight Clear" by one of the older 3rd grade shepards. My near 4 year old, who's name happens to be that of one of the cast of characters in the pagent, was carrying her baby doll, thinking that she was holding the Christ child. Of course, the main cast of characters were on stage with their baby doll. The doll "magically appeared" from under the manger. After the grab, I was noticing how the young Mary figure was holding a caring for the baby. Then I was looking at the program of the pagent which was decorated by drawings the children in our church did. All the drawings depicted both Mary and Joseph smiling almost as if the baby magically appeared.

Of course we adults know the whole reality of birth. It is not always an easy process. In our day and time, it is almost at requirement to have a birthing area, whether in a hospital or a home, in a sterile condition during the labor and birth. And to think of giving birth in one of the most unsanitary places, a barn, is unthought of today. On top of all that, imagine putting your child in an animal feeding trough! I don't like the fact my 10 month is playing with the cat food, let alone let her actually to lie in it. Jesus was definately not born in the most kosher of situations based on Jewish law. I am sure there were bugs, fecal matter, and smells that we think are horrid in this time and age and of that. I would imagine the possiblity of disease and birth mortality rate were higher then than now. It is a miracle that someone had survived such a birth in those conditions.

Today with our organic moms and disinfectant dads, imagining to actually be in that situation is out of our scope. Yet with our set ways, a cozy birth is very picturesque. Bringing life into this world is already something everyone deals with anticipation and know that change in inevitable. Sometimes we have to really be out of comfortable situation to see God at work. That is something to ponder this Christmas season.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Christmas time again, lets keep it CHRISTmas

I knew it was Christmas time a couple of weeks ago when my daughter pulled out the ToysRUs Sunday insert and was pointing at all the things she wanted. It seems like it changes everyday what she wants "I want Barbie...I want a Belle doll....I want a Aquadoodle pad...I want that game" it seems like a never ending of "I want." I know somewhere in our society, the meaning of the season has been lost. It is now a list of "I wants" and not always "you need." If there is one thing I want my girls to learn from their parents is that giving is better than receiving.

Charaties this time of year are always working on making people's Christmases blessed events. At our church, there is the Christ Child Project, given less fortunate ones the opportuntity to shop for high-end toys and clothes at an 80% discount with donated items. The Heifer Project comes out every year with celebrity endorsements, asking for donations to help Third World communities with basic agricultural supplies like oxen and sheep. Another contribution our family does is sponsor a girl from a girls shelter in Honduras called "Our Little Roses." Every year I have my daughter pick out Christmas and Birthday gifts for our girl. We want our daughters to have a connection with our sponsored child, and have the opportunity one day to meet her.

I think giving not getting is the key to Christmas. I have here a favorite contempory Christmas song by Dave Matthews Band "The Christmas Song." I think this simple song says it all.