This Christmas I feel a great deal older than last Christmas.
It’s not from the fact that I’m now finding it harder to hide the grey streaks that colour my hair; it’s not due to me having to renew my licence making me realise that I have been driving – on a full licence – for over ten years; and it’s not even because we now have the adult responsibility of paying off a mortgage. The reason I feel a great deal older this Christmas compared to last year is that I went out and bought my own Christmas presents. You know, the typical ‘mum’ thing to do: She knows what she wants and it’s just easier to buy it herself. So I went Christmas shopping for myself and bundled my self-bought presents in a bag and handed them to my husband, even offering to wrap them for him if he wanted! The anticipation and surprise use to be the highlight for me at Christmas. Now, being my ever-practical self, I’m just keen to get the things that I need and enjoy the time with my family.
One thing that has surprised me, however, has been my emotional response to the Christmas story. It’s not like it changes much each year… virgin pregnancy, travels by donkey, no room at the inn, baby in a manger, star, angels, shepherds, wise men… But I realised how emotionally connected I still was to this story when I was looking for a clip to show at our Christmas service. I found this youtube clip showing images from The Nativity Story movie to the song Come and Worship. I think it was Joseph’s response to the situation that affected me most. His concern for Mary turning to absolute joy at the birth of Jesus made tears well up in my eyes.
This amazing gift that God has given us is unbelievable. Just as Joseph was in awe, so too am I constantly in awe of the sacrifice God made by sending Jesus to earth. I have known about this gift all of my life, longer than I have known about the gifts that will sit under the tree at Christmas this year. And I am constantly astounded that this gift becomes more meaningful to me at each passing year. I can’t find it in shops, I can’t put it on layby, and I can not pay for it myself. The gift of Jesus trumps any gift that may be sitting under the tree and lasts a lifetime.
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.