- the ornaments from my dad’s childhood, the one that’s a sort of plastic, but not plastic, stocking with the teeth marks on the toe, the Santa with some of the color rubbed off
- the ornaments from our grade school years– any number of clothes pin reindeer, pipe cleaner lollipops and candy canes
- the garland that my mom & dad traveled 30 miles to get more than 40 years ago
- the shiny but worn glass ornaments from their early married years
- the ones from different countries where different ones of us have traveled
We still mourn the loss of the original angel from atop the tree. The golden aura behind her, cracked, chipped, and broken, her hair slighly askew, we had to retire her for fire safety reasons a few years back. The newer one does an admirable job topping the tree, but lacks the colored history of the former.
The tree itself is a celebration of a family who celebrates the Holy Family. Our stories are mingled with theirs, but Their story is the greater one. We decorate that tree in honor of the family who traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem for a census, in honor of a woman and a man who said “Yes” to God, in the face of what had to be derision from others.
Can you imagine traveling the miles by donkey or foot in the last months of pregnancy? Can you imagine Joseph trying to find the place where Mary could give birth? I marvel at their faith and their obedience to the unusual requests that God made of them. All in honor of the Baby about to be born, Who would offer the world the best gift ever- a relationship with Himself.
Ever loving despite years of rejection by people He called His own, can you imagine a God who loves us so much, that He sent His Son to be born as a little baby who would be our Savior? A King who laid in a manger? the Holy One who would serve us by offering His own life on our behalf? the Lamb of God who would give the ultimate sacrifice of His own life to pay for our sins?
His Story gives context to our stories. In His honor, we celebrate! Happy Birthday, Jesus! and thank You…
For God so loved [us], He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life.
I am still in awe. How about you?