Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Epiphany

I discovered, just this year, that celebration is a discipline. Which means we don't ditch Christmas because so much of the world has commercialized it. Which means we don't treat it with contempt or grow lazy in the face of it. Drag out the tree or go cut it down. Decorate it. Bake some cookies. Talk to your kids about Jesus. Create new traditions. Try new recipes. Shovel your neighbor's walk. Make some gifts, like you did when you were a kid.

I used to think my happiest Christmases were the ones behind me, the Christmases of my childhood. But my happiest Christmases are really the ones that I've had in the past 20 years or so --- the Christmases after my dedication to Christ Jesus. My Christmases these days are pretty special, too, because I have two toddlers, but they are not why I find true value in this season.

And many Christians will say, "forget Christmas; Easter is the Christian's holiday." I've heard it said and perhaps in the past I've agreed with them --- at least in theory, if not in practice. But I think so many times we Christians let the world steal from us what should be ours, what we should own, what we should hold stubbornly to. I want to take it back. I want Christmas back. And there are God-loving Christians who say, "Christmas and other holidays are just another excuse for people to indulge in gluttony." I've heard it said, and I probably agreed. Once. But no more. As a praying, fasting, head-covering Christian woman, I know there are times to fast and there are times to feast. When it is time to fast, we should do it with all humility, focus and commitment. When it is time to feast we should do it with all joy and gladness of heart. Okay, sure...I've packed on a few pounds this season between baking cookies and 'testing' (I just gotta taste everything I cook to make sure it's good!), but it's okay, because this is simply one of many seasons of my life. The time will come to fast again. Then the time will come to feast and be merry again. Wise is the Christian who knows how to do both --- who holds these things in equal tension.

Enjoy your Christmas, dear ones. May your hearts be merry and your joy wide. Let's also remember to pray for and serve those who are hurting this season, as well. Our Lord was born (and died) for such as these.

Merry Christmas,
Muhala

5 comments:

Rosheeda said...

What a great post, and such a lot of wisdom!

It has taken me weeks to be at least a little Christmas-y, but finally I'm there and I think it will be a great time. These next two weeks should be really special.

Have an amazing Christmas with your family, Muhala. And know that you are a blessing to me!

Ro

Nancy M. said...

Wonderful post! Merry Christmas!

LisaM at ThoseHeadcoverings said...

I like your thoughts! Happy everything - and thanks for mentioning about the fasting times too. :)

Jennifer said...

I think like you do about Christmas. I want to thank you for your lovely testimony about your children on my blog. God is good isn't He?

Muhala Akamau said...

Jennifer,
Yes! God is good!! I most enjoyed my visit to your blog...thanks for having the likes of me.:-)

Grace,
Muhala