The Comfort of Christmas by Robin Densmore Fuson
Do carry in your heart special Christmas memories? Do you think about how the first "Christmas" was long ago?
As a child, I loved to hear and sing, Over the River and Through the Woods (to grandma’s house we go) It brought to mind all the joys of the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. I was lucky and had one grandma who lived nearby. We often spent holidays and other days with her throughout the year. She made pumpkin pie which is my most favorite dessert (without whip topping). Don’t you have more than one favorite dessert?
One Grandma and Granddad lived two states away. I grew up in California and they lived in the smallish town of Durango, Colorado which is actually, where I was born. Interestingly, my mom and I were born in the same hospital.
That Christmas song conjured up all sorts of imagery of going to great lengths to get to the awaiting love at Grandma’s. Woods, snow, and riding a sleigh. I love the older traditional songs. Do you?
Whether we went a short way to the Grandma in California or the long twenty-four-hour drive, we were met with the warmth and love given by grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and a friend or two all gathered around food and gifts. Those are my best Christmas memories.
One thing my parents instilled in me was the real meaning of Christmas. Here’s my version of the event in Luke chapters 1 and 2. Two young married people traveling together on a dirt road. One very pregnant woman on a donkey the man leading them to the crowded town of Bethlehem.
There, they found no rooms available. No vacancy signs hung on each door. The exhausted couple kept searching and knocking on doors, asking to no avail. Finally, an Innkeeper graciously gave them shelter in a barn of sorts—most likely a cave or lean-to. Not much privacy and not clean. Have you ever slept in a barn? I bet you had clean hay. I hope the Innkeeper provided that and some clean water for the weary travelers.
In the still of the night, with the melodious sound of a donkey’s heehaw, cows lowing, or a sheep bah-ing, a baby was born. No midwife. No doctor. No instruments or drugs. Only a momma pushing the child out of its comfort zone with the expectant husband nearby. The child was perfect and no harm would come to Him for his Father was the Almighty God. The Father in Heaven watched over His Son and I’m sure pride swelled in His breast to see Him take in his first breath and cried His greeting.
After a brisk rub down with a scratchy towel, the mother took strips of cloth to swaddle the babe, then snuggled him and sang a lullaby. The husband sat next to the mother and child whom he loved and would defend at all costs.
The small family was interrupted by a band of brothers. Shepherds had heard of the birth by an angel and a chorus from a multitude of angelic beings. The sweaty bunch wanted to see what they were told—a baby in swaddling cloths in a manger, a stable. Not in a warm house, wrapped in silk sheets.
The welcome into the world wasn’t comfortable but no one was more loved than the baby Jesus. The Christ child had come to earth and He would live a simple and short life. He came for the purpose to die for mankind. All of mankind. All. His Father, God, loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish or be separated from God but have eternal life with Him in heaven. (John 3:16 my paraphrase)
He didn’t get the greeting we enjoy when we come into the world or go to family’s homes to celebrate His birth. He knew how his greeting would take place, yet He willingly came. He came to die for you and me.
So, this Christmas, give your loved ones an extra hug, and don’t forget to tell them about the real reason for Christmas. Pull out some old records or an app and listen to the heartwarming traditional songs of Christmas but make sure they include the proclamation of Jesus.