Get out a kleenex
This post was written by a single Mom from last week on the day of the big snowfall. The writing of it is superb. The theology profound, and the content stirs the soul. Check it out. (copied with permission.)
As I write this and reflect, the falling snow has hushed our busyness. Even the roads are quiet. The captivating white displays the expected Christmas attire associated with this holiday season. Yet as lovely and nostalgic as the winter wonderland is, it has little relevance to my Christmas contemplation. For on Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent - and the birthday of my middle son - Christmas came.
Just as Love became flesh and dwelt among us, so Love was amazingly demonstrated through the unconditional generosity of those who responded to your alternate "message" at the 9a Access this past Sunday. As one of the overwhelmed single moms who participated as a recipient, it seemed that the world's adaptation of Christmas - malls, obligatory lists, Santa, and anxiety - became remote and obscure as worshippers came forward to give: giving warm embraces, encouraging words, and money, expecting only that we receive their love. Teenagers came up simply to hug me; a woman walked directly to me and told me I was so beautiful, as if she knew I had struggled significantly this past year to recapture my true beauty in Christ. The year also shared financial strain, and as each person pressed money into my hand, God again was telling me to trust Him as the intimate Husband, Lover, Friend and Counselor He had become to me. Indeed, Sunday - in part - represented a culmination of my year's spiritual journey, affirmed in love by the body of CCC. For me, Sunday was a mysterious miracle, much like the first Christmas. Angels and dreams and a pregnant virgin. Gentile wise men kneeling before a Jewish child. An elderly couple having a baby, and lowly shepherds exalted before a King. And love being poured upon a handful of single mothers in Access. My awe and gratitude as I stood in tears in front of the service is easily likened to the wonderment I experience as I ponder the birth of Jesus.
When we arrived home, I called my sons into my bedroom, and re retold the story of what had occurred. As I dumped the money out on my bed, their eyes became moon pies of astonishment. It then struck me that the intended theme of your message - leaving a legacy - had been more powerfully conveyed to my family than perhaps your original script would have accomplished. Sunday provided my sons with a new legacy: I told them that today we celebrate Christmas, that today we would memorialize what happened at CCC - Love came down to us. I explained that we would retell this story on the first Sunday of Advent every year, and that they would tell their children the story of how a very real and present God demonstrated His love through His children, in whom resides the true meaning of Christmas.
The snow outside continues sketching a Christmas card illustration. But the memory of the 12/6/09 Access has painted an authentic and life-changing portrayal of what Christmas truly is. And I whisper in quiet gratitude with Mary:
"And my soul exalts the Lord. And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of his bondslave. For behold, from this time on, the generations of my sons will see His blessing (the legacy!). For the might one has done great things for me. Holy is His name...He has filled the hungry with good things. He has given help to His servant".