24 December, 2006

Christmas 2006

Another Christmas. Whether or not this was the day Christ Jesus was born, it is the day that was chosen for us to celebrate His birth.

Growing up, this was not exactly my favorite time of the year. I grew up with no Christmas Traditions except church. Why? Because my mother was a church musician and a florist. That is double trouble on all holidays.

Between the Cantata's, special services and (real) Christmas decorations, lets just say it was a bit hectic. It is a good thing I had an older sister who loved to cook to big meals.

However, I do recall spending a few Christmas' at large hotel dining rooms--the only restaurants open back then. One year, my mom made reservations for 11 in the name of Coffee. When we showed up salivating for a delicious meal... there were 11 places set for...coffee. The maitre de asked if we would be having desert, too...he would bring the trolley around.

Actually, I am not overly fond of Christmas. As I get older, I like it less and less. It has become downright vulgar in its materialism and cheesiness.

Where are the majestic choirs singing the Messiah? There was a time church choirs would practice for months for the big event. Now, you can hardly find a church choir let alone an organ. Can you imagine Handel's 'Messiah' without an organ? Can't be done.

But, I know someone who found the perfect way to celebrate our Savior's birth. My cousin's daughter, a school teacher, just sent me an e-mail from India where she decided to spend her Christmas vacation. In a Christian orphanage. Her insights into life there were chilling. Well, I'll let her tell you:

You drive past "homes" of cloth and mud, cows, chickens, BOARS, elephants, every kind of animal you can think of roaming around. You pass many, many people begging on the street with no teeth, no home and skinny as rails. You see children begging. You see people everywhere using the restroom on the streets. You see people and cows eating out of trash dumps. Then, you arrive within seconds to the Taj Mahal where you are taken away and speechless with the beauty of it. It's such an odd feeling.

We were welcomed into the home a few days ago. We had no idea what to expect. We drove up to the home, got out of the Jeep, and immediately heard the voices of 27 children singing at the top of their voices to Him. As we walked up the stairs, we were given flower neclaces like nothing I've seen before. They draped them on our necks and hugged and hugged and hugged us. Several children were crying and holding on to our feet.

We sat down in the room the size of my bedroom (the home's biggest room) with the children and sang songs to HIM at the top of our lungs. I have never in my life felt so close to Him as I did then. My eyes feel so swollen from crying and crying. We had a wonderful time of testimony. Children and us gave testimony of His greatness. We left, and as I was leaving I told one of the children that I thought her earings were beautiful. She immediately took them off and gave them to me. I was so touched. I tried to give them back but she insisted.

Doesn't that sound positively wonderful? As I look at my tree with presents abounding, I wish I were there...in India...singing songs to Him with children who have nothing yet so freely give.

Jesus, our Savior, was born in a smelly barn. Probably not so different a scene from what those orphans see every day. He grew up as a peasant with no where to lay His head as an adult. He was despised, rejected, mocked and scorned. He willing went to Golgotha and hung on a cross in my place. For me. For those orphans in India singing His praises. He is the Hope of eternal life and I am praying He will come back and get us soon.

1 comment:

telos said...


Merry Christmas!