Christmas has always held a special place in my heart. I can still remember decorating the tree, helping to bake cookies, and picking out gifts. This was my annual routine, until the year that I turned ten and everything changed.
It all started the day that Mother sat us down and told us that we would be getting a brother. I was overcome with the joy of knowing that I would have another boy in the house, one that I could teach and train to do my bidding. The day finally came when my parents packed us up and drove to San Angelo. I remember Mother waking me up on that December morning and asking if I was ready to meet my new brother. My brother’s birthday was amazing: snow was on the ground, houses were decorated, and there was “magic” in the air. Magic that only a new baby can bring to the world.
Fast-forward twenty years, and you will find me decorating the tree, baking cookies, and picking out gifts. This had again become my annual routine, until the year that I turned thirty and then, everything changed again. This time, my wife and I sat our daughter down and told her that she would be getting a sister. My daughter was overcome with the joy of knowing that she would have another girl in the house, one that she could teach and train to do her bidding.
The day came when we packed my daughter’s belongings and dropped her off to spend the night with my mother. My second daughter’s birthday was amazing as well, but in a way only a father could know.
Both of these babies had a huge impact on my life, yet there is one baby whose birth truly changed the world forever, the birth of Jesus. I’m reminded of a song “How Many Kings”, by Down Here:
“A child in a manger
Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mothers shawl
Just a child
Is this who we've waited for?”
“Cause how many kings, stepped down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?”
I have a close friend who often says, “I've lived a good life, but if this is all there was to it, I would be very disappointed.” Even though we have things in our lives that excite us, it is nothing compared to knowing Jesus.
Paul put it this way, “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.” In other words, winter without Christmas would be nothing more than a cold dreary time of year, but with Christ’s birth it can truly be magical!