What is the Meaning of Christmas?

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The end of my “25 days of Christmas” photo challenge (check posts below) leads me to asking, what is the meaning of Christmas?  I’m tempted to say, “family”.  Heck, I know lots of people who aren’t Christian who have a Christmas tree and exchange gifts.  I’ve even heard that Christmas has pagan roots.  Looking past all of this, what should Christmas mean, or what does it mean to me?

Mathew 1:23 reads, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”  It’s funny because it was Christmas Day I remembered that I somehow forgot about the true meaning of it all along.  The meaning of Christmas is honoring the birth of Jesus Christ.

I’ve always had mixed feelings about the holiday.  We can all get so wrapped up in the material things and forget what’s important.  But there’s something very beautiful about Christmas time: it requires you to think of others.  It brings people together.  If done right, it reminds us of what we should truly be grateful for.

My Christmas memory was from when I was a little kid.  I received a Christmas sweater I didn’t like, and I actually told the person who gave it to me what to get me instead the next year.  Yes, I was that kid.

Sometimes when I reflect on the person I used to be, and in some ways the person I am becoming, I feel so grateful.  My memories, good and bad, are not me.

Regardless of what you may have received this Christmas season, there’s is one gift available to all: salvation.  This means that everything that separates and divides you from the love of God is taken away because Jesus Christ died on a cross for your sins. This gift reminds me everyday that my worth is beyond any number.

You are loved and eternally valuable!  Merry “day-after” Christmas!  🙂

P.S- I’ll be renaming this blog and buying a domain name, does anyone have suggestions?  Let me know!

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The awkward moment when you realize you had it all wrong

I grew up in a Christian family, in a Christian household being taught how to be a good Christian.  The thing is the majority of my life was spent looking through this pin hole thinking I was seeing everything, but in reality I only saw this tiny distorted section of the whole picture.  I saw my family and their devotion to God.  I saw my church friends give everything and dedicating their lives to God.  I was baptized with people I’ve known my entire life.  And when I accepted God for the first time my closest friends and family were with me the entire time.

I outreached on campus because I was told to do it.  I spoke about God when someone asked me about God.  I was too busy living my life looking through this tiny hole where everyone I loved would be fine.  And those who didn’t accept God were put to the back of my mind.  I stuffed them there not wanting to imagine eternity without them.

Today I visited a Hindu temple for an anthropology project, I wanted to learn about an aspect of my culture I never experienced.  Growing up as  christian as well as Indian the majority of people I met in passing assumed I was Hindu, unaware that I knew little to nothing about Hinduism.  What happened instead was this tiny hole through which I saw everything was broken open and my heart literally ached.  I left the temple and I sobbed.  Because if everything I was ever taught and believed was true then I would not meet everyone from that temple again one day in heaven.  I just wouldn’t.

I wasn’t used to thinking like that.

My entire life my purpose was to be a good student, to be a supportive friend, to be a decent person.  But as I continued to live my life looking through this tiny hole I was blinded to everything outside of my view.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to learn about an organization called, “The Price of Life” through”One cry”, it was there that I learned the first way I was blind.  Today I learned the second way.  First I was blind to the suffering of people who were sold into prostitution.  I was blind to the suffering of people around me in my life imaging pain was entity of my own.  That only I went through hardships.  I was blinded by my selfishness.  Conceding to myself that everyone else had it figured out and that everyone looked at all times as they appeared on the surface.

No one has it figured it.  But everyone is so keen and so used to hiding that a mirage of perfection is easy to portray.

I realized today that I had it all wrong because yesterday I prayed that God would break my heart for those who didn’t know him.  But as he did this very thing I wanted to beg him to stop.  My idea of Christianity was asking things from God hoping he would not hear me.  That was how things worked looking through this tiny hole.  The hole was narrow and binding and… even inaccurate but this hole was comfortable.  Everything I saw through it fit into what I wanted Christianity to really be, not what it actually is.

I’m writing this post right now because I feel like there most be other people out there like me.  People who have been living their entire lives looking through this tiny hole thinking they have it all figured it.  The thing is we don’t have it figured out, not even a little bit.  God doesn’t call us to live our lives blindly.  He is the light that shines in our darkness, he calls us to be free from all bondage.

We are called to love, to serve and to be uncomfortable.  Today was the day I realized what this actually meant for the very first time.

God centered life

 

I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.  My school work, friends, future, family, and everything in between.  And when I was so busy thinking about everything going on in my life, I failed to remember God.

It’s funny isn’t it?  No, it’s not.  It’s a little bit sad.

For the entirety of my life I have been a “christian” but I fear I’ve been a Christian in name alone.  I go to church, I follow my commandments but I fail to give God all the glory and honor he deserves.  And what amazes me is that God see this girl who puts him last many times, who forgets him..  Somehow he still deems me worthy of his forgiveness, his love, his mercy.  There is no one in the entire world who would be so gracious, but my God.

Today I want to change the way I live my life.  I want to say I am a Christian and be so grateful to know the truth.   Because I am blessed by the fact that my grandfather was a believer and his before him.  Their prayers still watch over me and cover me.

But their salvation is not enough to reach me, I need to make a decision to really and actually put God first.

So what does it look like when someone leads a God centered life?

Well everything else that goes on daily simply pales in comparison.  You don’t read your bible because you have a daily quota, you read your bible because you just want to.  You get lost in praying to God and wonder how time could slip so quickly away.  And you change, 100% you change everything about yourself.  Not because you make this conscious effort to change.  But because you are so in love with God and so surrounded by him in every aspect that he influences every action you make.

When we choose to follow God and put him first everything else just falls into place.  Philippians 4:13 reads “I can do all things through him who strengthens me”, and we can.  That’s the amazing thing about God.  There are literally no limits to what you are capable above, and God will direct in the path meant for you.

I want to live like that.

So in love with God that my life can be a testimony to him and that I can shine because of the light and joy he places into my life.

Mark 12:30 reads, “Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”  That’s no joke.  That means something.  Today for the first time I will try to understand what exactly that means.