(December 11, 2018) Ed Delph shares another timely thought-provoker…
Here’s a true story I think you’ll enjoy by an unknown author about Christmas. Read and enjoy!
Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. I had cut back on nonessential obligations – extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending. Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning of Christmas.
My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six-year-old. For weeks, he’d been memorising songs for his school’s Winter Pageant presentation. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I’d be working the night of the production.
Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher who assured me there would be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation, that all parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.
So, the morning of dress rehearsal, I filed in and found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.
Unexpected Christmas love
Because the public-school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as ‘Christmas,’ I didn’t expect anything other than fun, songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer. So, when my son’s class rose to sing, Christmas Love, I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.
Nicholas was aglow, as were all his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snow-caps on their heads. Those in the front row centre stage, held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song. As the class would sing ‘C is for Christmas,’ a child would hold up the letter C. Then, ‘H is for Happy’ and so on, until each child holding up their letter intending to present the complete message of CHRISTMAS LOVE.
The performance was going smoothly… until suddenly we noticed her, a small quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter ‘M’ upside down – totally unaware her letter ‘M’ appeared as a ‘W’! The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one’s mistake. She had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her ‘W.’ Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised.
Then we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen. In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated Christmas in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities. For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear: ‘C H R I S T WAS L O V E.’
The real reason to celebrate Christmas
What a story!
Do you know what? I believe, Christ still is love. There are two issues in life we must all settle… who we are and what we do. Don’t confuse who you are with what you do. Once you know who you are by knowing ‘Whose you are’ then are you ready for what you do.
Notice Christ was and is love. Love is who he is, not what he does.
- Because he is, he does.
- He doesn’t have to muster up some pretence because ‘It’s the right thing to do’ love.
- He doesn’t have to pray for love.
- He doesn’t need to become an actor to love.
- He loves simply because he is love!
Our humanistic culture may try to suppress Christmas, repress Christmas, express Christmas, but the real power of Christmas is when you confess Christmas. Christ was love, God’s love, coming again and again, saying one thing. ‘For God so loved the world (you and me) that he gave…’
Christ was Christmas. God clarified something without saying a thing.
Dr Ed Delph is president of Nationstrategy, an organisation with the strategy of envisioning and empowering today’s leaders in the church to be some of tomorrow’s leaders in the community. Links: firstname.lastname@example.org / http://www.nationstrategy.com