I want to take a moment to wish all of you a very blessed Christmas! I appreciate you with all my heart. My blog site will go “dark” during Christmas week so I can enjoy my family and mine new material from this year’s Christmas experience; I’m sure Hannah will pull something hilarious over the next week, so stay tuned! Oh, and I’m considering doing either a biblical or psychological analysis of the Rankin-Bass Claymation classic “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” We watched it again a few weeks ago and I have lots to say about it. . . . . Anyway, here’s today’s post. Please be safe and have fun this week!
David C. Hughes
On Friday, 12/21/2012, the end of the world arrived with a hush as the morning dawned crisp and quiet, putting to rest the fear of universal destruction when the Mayan Long Count came to completion. Christmas morning 2012, on the other hand, rolled in on a strong cold front, an army of heavy rain whipping in from the north, led by companies of winter lightning and rousing thunder. You almost expected Jesus to descend from the clouds with KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS tattooed on his thigh!
By noon Christmas day, the rain had changed over to sleet, then to snow, and by the next morning the sun had skated in again, glinting off the patina of new-fallen fluff and providing the stage for the sashay of 19-degree air. One thing’s for darn sure in Texas: the weather constantly changes, and it can go from one extreme to the next in a matter of hours. What’s that phrase I learned right after I moved here almost 26 years ago? “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait a minute.” The weather is always fluctuating as air masses are pushed in, stirred up, and flung around by the sun’s heat and the earth’s spinning and wobbling.
I love variable weather—the weather is literally one of the reasons I moved from California to Texas in 1988 after living in Santa Monica for only a year and a half. California weather is. . . nice . . . but it can get downright monotonous. I love Texas weather, especially in the springtime when warm, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico wrestles with cold, dry air from the Great Plains. Springtime in the tornado belt is a testament to nature’s power, changeability, randomness, and destructive capability.
Did you ever notice that life can sometimes be just as variable, just as unpredictable, just as unstable as a mass of warm, moist air punching through a capping inversion and setting up a spectacular storm? Complete with flying objects and hurtling words? Over the past several years my own internal weather has settled down into a more stable, mid-summer pattern, but even in the heat of a summer day, thunderstorms can still pop up and pour down unexpectedly.
As Christmas rolled in on December 25th, 2012, noisy and wild and out of control, I was struck by the contrast between it and the Person who’s birthday we traditionally celebrate around the world this time of year. The author of the letter to the Hebrews wrote in Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” And King David sang in Psalm 62: “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress. I will never be shaken.”(Psalm 62:1-2).
Jesus never changes. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last. He is God born into the most humble of circumstances—God poured out for us, God emptied, God purposefully minimized on His own volition from the infinitely-powerful Creator to a crying, naked, helpless baby. God created us in love, stuck with us in love, became incarnate out of love, went joyfully to the cross for love, and calls us now out of love and into Love. He is the Prince of Peace, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the warrior God who fights for us out of love and grace and mercy. But most importantly out of love.
“Joy to the World, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King . . . . .”
As our daughter, Hannah, reminds Mary and I, “Christmas isn’t all about the presents; it’s about Jesus’ birth.” And, I have to add, to the rebirth of the Savior in my heart at age 13, and again at age 20, and again at age 32, and again at 43 and 45 and 46, and again at age 48. And again this morning and every morning. Hannah’s right, it’s not about the presents, but the Presence.
“Oh what a beautiful morning,
Oh what a beautiful day,
I’ve got a wonderful feeling,
Everything’s going my way.”
–Rogers and Hammerstein, “Oklahoma”
May the unchanging nature of our most loving God change your hearts this Christmas season, and may you draw near to Him and let Him cradle you in His arms as Mary cradled the newborn Jesus on that amazing day.
God bless you all, and I pray that everything goes your way in the upcoming New Year!
Copyright © 2013 David C Hughes