Friday, December 26, 2014


I love Christmas. It’s one of my very favorite holidays (the other being Easter). But it wasn’t always this way.
Truth be told, I detested Christmas for most of my life. I was a veritable Grinch. I started complaining bitterly around November about the incessant Christmas music blaring cheerfully in most stores and restaurants. How dare they impose their holiday on me? I’d fume. I’m embarrassed to admit that I once almost complained at a restaurant where I was dining with a friend, the day after Christmas. It was only because of my friend’s pleadings that I didn’t ask the manager to shut off those insufferable Christmas tunes.
But that’s all in the past. Now I am delighted by the first notes of a Christmas song played in my local supermarket or pharmacy. Everything changed for me a few years ago, my views on God and Christmas and everything else. Back then, I even went over to my local Barnes and Noble bookstore and sampled Christmas music and purchased a few CDs. I relish playing them this holiday season.
I love Christmas now for so many reasons. First and foremost, of course, is the birth of our Savior, the world’s Savior, Emmanuel among us. He came to rescue all of us lost sheep from sin and the Enemy and most of all from ourselves. 
He came to heal the wounds of nations, to bring everyone together, so there was no longer a separation among people, “Greeks or Jews or men and women,” but all united in the Mystical Body. In this time of horrifying racial strife and increasing tribalism, we need this teaching more than ever before.
I also cherish Christmas now because I’m no longer an outsider. I realize that my enmity towards Christmas wasn’t so much the lights and the candles and the sounds of, Silent Night. It was feeling left out, alone, different. I understand now why people desperately seek an identity, whether it’s Japanese American or African American or an Adult Child of an Alcoholic, or any of the other countless groupings and categories. But, ultimately, it is only through God that we can feel connected to each other and to ourselves.
Although I am now delighted by the whole season, there is also a sadness there for me. It’s grief, I think, of being separated from God for so long, for almost my whole life, and the unbearable suffering and loneliness that comes from this. It makes my heart go out to the countless others who live, as I used to, at such a far distance from God.
But if I can change so dramatically, even in my older years, anyone can. Because God is ever present, faithful, and patient.
All along He was waiting for me, He was there, even if I didn’t know it, even in my darkest moments. To find Him, we simply need to overcome our stubborn pride, face the sorrow of lost years and lost time, and ask for His love and mercy. 
I’d like to end here with some poignant lyrics of a song by Matt Maher, You Were on the Cross:
Pain, could you take away the pain?
If I find someone to blame, would it make my life seem easier?
Alone, all my friends are asleep
And I can’t find anyone to stay awake with me
Where were You when sin stole my innocence?
Where were You when I was ashamed?
Hiding in a life, I wish, I never made
You were on the cross, my God, my God, alone, alone
You were on the cross, You died for us, alone, alone
You were on the cross, victorious, alone, alone
You were there in all of my suffering
And You were there in doubt and in fear
I’m waiting on the dawn to reappear
Merry Christmas and love and blessings to you all.
Posted on by Robin

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