An Humble Christmas
"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:18-21)
An Humble Christmas
There once was a day many years ago when I recall a more humble Christmas season! When the birthday of our Lord and Savior held center stage. A time when merry Christmas meant Happy Birthday Jesus! Gifts were given in symbolism of the Christ Child, born in a manger so long ago! We even held a picture in our young minds of Santa Claus bowing before the manger scene, in reverence to the birth of our savior. During those more humble times, the Christmas Tree was more likely a real tree, cut from the forest and placed in a prominent place in the living room with care.
We would spend days in advance preparing homemade tree ornaments! We would even cut colored paper into equal size strips, then fasten them together into a chain with glue we had made ourselves. Lacking the fancy pretty round bulbs we have today, we would cut them out of the same paper as the chains and hang them on the tree tied to a string. Then we'd search around the house among the rags and find scrap pieces of cloth left over from sewing and patching worn cloths in order to locate something red, green or white. Suitable to cover the base of our beautify tree!
We could not afford the luxury of shopping at a brightly lighted malls and the various stores for Christmas Gifts, so we would spend a couple months before hand thinking of ideas for a home made gift to give to our friends and family. Care was taken to insure our secret was not discovered until Christmas, so we'd make the gifts with our own hands and wrap them in whatever paper was available, sometimes just plain newspaper. Whenever wrapping paper was available it was usually because it had been either rescued from the trash, or on occasion someone had give us a gift from a previous holiday.
Slowly a great anticipation would build as Christmas came ever closer! Many an evening before Christmas finally arrived we spent time Christmas Caroling up and down the streets in our neighborhood. While at the same time the ladies would be preparing homemade candy! Shortly before Christmas eve we'd find ourselves in the middle of a taffy pull, and I bet today’s youngsters don't know anything about a taffy pull. There would be a variety of candy apples, pie and ice cream, all home made and prepare in our own homes.
When Christmas eve finally came and the carolers had came in from the street, we'd gather around the tree. We couldn't afford the long strings of multi-colored lights, so we made do with whatever glittering objects we could find and eluminated them with well placed lamps at the base of the tree. The idea of some type of an expensive sterol player, DVD's or CD's was not even considered possible, it would have in any case been an entire world away. As momma played on the piano we'd all gather around and sing songs like Away In The Manger, Little Star of Bethlehem and so may other well known Christmas Carols. We were all smiles and laughter as we enjoyed a simple but meaningful Christmas!
Maybe we didn't have the high priced glitter, expensive gifts and pre-prepared store bought meals and candy. But we had something more precious then fine gold. We had the love of family, friends and neighbors, as well as the knowledge that the Son of the Living God millenniums before our time, laid aside the royal robs of heaven's glory. Then he came down to be born in a lowly manger, surrounded by what we would call barn yard animals, to live among us! He didn't live in palaces or the halls of emperors and kings, rather chose to live among plain every day folks, just like ourselves. And the hosts of heavens angles, came to sing praises unto the Child of Bethlehem.
This year remember the true meaning of Christmas, that aside from the glitter, gift giving and sumptuous eating, it is the birthday of our Lord and Savior!
The Night Jesus Came
'Twas the night Jesus came and all through the house, not a person was praying, not one in the house..
The Bible was left on the shelf without care, for no one thought Jesus would come there.. The children were dressing to crawl into bed, not once ever kneeling or bowing their head.. And Mom in the rocking chair with babe on her lap, was watching the Late Show as I took a nap.. When out of the east there rose such a clatter, I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.. Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and lifted the sash..
When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but Angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.. The light of His face made me cover my head... was Jesus returning just like He'd said.. And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth, I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.. In the Book of Life which he held in his hand, was written the name of every saved man.. He spoke not a word as he searched for my name, when He said "it's not here" My head hung in shame.. The people whose names had been written with love, He gathered to take to his Father above..
With those who were ready He rose without sound, while all of the others were left standing around... I fell to my knees but it was too late, I'd waited too long and thus sealed my fate. I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight, Oh, if only I'd known that this was the night.... In the words of this poem the meaning is clear the coming of Jesus is now drawing near... There's only one life and when comes the last call, We'll find out that the Bible was true after all...