Friday, December 9, 2011

Welcome, welcome Christmas Day...

Wonderful Christmas memories are numerous for me. Maybe it's being right in the middle of the spirit of the season that prevents me from remembering a negative experience. Sure, I've been in a few places I would rather not have been during the holiday, but as far as a bad memory...I can't find one on my hard drive I call a brain.

I remember Christmas Day fell on Sunday back in 2005. That had been a particularly hard year for me and my family, but there was a feeling of turning a new leaf as the year end approached.
Like most families, mine has a very regimented schedule to adhere to starting with Christmas Eve each year to ensure we spread the holiday cheer evenly among our blended families. I recall one Christmas flying home from Hawaii for a few weeks. Upon returning to the island, I learned of angry family upset that I didn't come see them while I was home. I fly 8 hours home, but they can't drive 15 minutes to visit me at my parents house? Right...Merry Christmas to you too.
Anyway, our plans where slightly modified in 2005 to include a morning worship service at church. My heart was telling me that attending church was the right thing to do despite the hectic visitation schedule we were facing, but my head was focused on everything but worship early that Christmas morning. Until I actually got to church...
There was surprisingly a large crowd attending the service. I sat with my family because I didn't have to play the drums during praise music. We sang traditional Christmas carols that told of the coming of the Savior. Without being facetious, the best way to describe my heart that morning is akin to what the Grinch went through in the famous Dr. Seuss story. It was as if my heart filled and expanded out of my chest that morning with joy. The experience was absolutely unforgettable and a tremendous blessing. I wasn't there to receiving a blessing...I was there to worship and praise God for being God...but He blessed me that Christmas morning and once again reminded me it should always be about Him.
I remember walking out that day and telling my wife that I wish we had a church service every Christmas morning regardless of the day of the week. I still feel that way and so does she. Christians talk about the reason for the season and keeping Christ in Christmas...but how many church doors are closed and locked on the morning of Christmas? Too many.
Oh well, 2011 is another Sunday Christmas, and I look forward to being in God's house to focus on the greatest Joy ever given to mankind. I hope you will join me at your church for worship in one accord for that gift of Joy that was born to a virgin and forever changed our dark, fragile world.

Weekly Advent Bible Reading Plan:

Monday, December 5, 2011: John 16:16-24
Tuesday, December 6, 2011: Ezra 3:11-13
Wednesday, December 7, 2011: Psalm 126
Thursday, December 8, 2011: Hebrews 12:1-3
Friday, December 9, 2011: Philippians 4:1-9


Unknown said...

It's great that your church will be having worship on Sunday the 25th, unlike some churches I'm a member of that I could mention...Oh well, Saturday was the original Sabbath.

Linda Maynard said...

I thought...oh yea...the "ole" trying to keep everyone happy situation...As you described your joy...I could almost feel it along with you. It IS a joyful thing to be loved so thoroughly and completely. Thanks for sharing Tony. For some reason, I just thought of Christians in third world nations and how so many times, when I have seen them worship God...JOY just seems to exude from them