Activated - - NEWS - By Chris Mizrany

How quickly Christ­mas has come again! The days, weeks, and months fly by, and I end up be­ing both sur­prised and re­signed to reach­ing another Christ­mas sea­son. Not that I dis­like Christ­mas! I love the beau­ti­ful fa­mil­iar car­ols, the vi­brant cheer­i­ness, and the abil­ity to wish both friends and strangers well with im­par­tial­ity.

And yet, it is that very fa­mil­iar feel­ing that can steal my joy if I’m not care­ful. I end up tak­ing last year’s plans, mak­ing a few ad­just­ments, and past­ing them into this sea­son’s cal­en­dar. If I just make sure to do such-and-such, re­mem­ber so-and-so, and or­ga­nize XYZ, things should flow along fine.

But wait. When did “fine” be­come my ob­jec­tive? Is “get­ting through” the sea­son a wor­thy goal? Do I find my­self brac­ing for the long hours, jam-packed days, and oblig­a­tory “cheer,” in­stead of em­brac­ing an over­whelm­ing sense of joy­ous love? I’m ashamed to say I do. So, this year, I want to re­think Christ­mas.

What was the first Christ­mas? If I had to sum it up in one word, I think I’d choose “proof.” Why?

The birth of Je­sus Christ into this mor­tal world was ab­so­lute proof that we are loved. It was proof that God’s prom­ises can al­ways be trusted, and that His abil­ity to shape his­tory is un­par­al­leled. Through His Son, in a baby’s help­less form on that first Christ­mas, God proved that He is solid, depend­able, and eter­nally car­ing. He also proved that He is will­ing to do any­thing to bring us into His fam­ily. Je­sus’ birth was the first step to­wards our re­birth, and through it God said, “I value you.”

How then should we cel­e­brate this amaz­ing sea­son? With food, songs, games, presents, friends, fam­ily, laugh­ter, rem­i­nis­cence, and at­ten­tion to de­tail? Yes, ab­so­lutely, for “ev­ery good and per­fect gift is from above.”

1 But even more, let’s let our­selves bask in the feel­ing of Christ­mas as if it were our very first. Let’s fol­low that star of light in our hearts, not to an earthly sta­ble, but to the One who is with us ev­ery­where. Let’s kneel be­fore our won­der­ful Sav­ior, bring­ing what He de­sires most—our time, honor, at­ten­tion, and love.

Let’s make Him proud by cel­e­brat­ing not just His birth in the present, but our lives with Him for­ever. That’s more than fine. That’s fab­u­lous.

Chris Mizrany is a web de­signer, pho­tog­ra­pher, and mis­sion­ary with Help­ing Hand in Cape Town, South Africa.

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