I love winter. I revel in the stillness and find solace in the quiet.
All of life seems to slow done, except maybe during the Christmas holidays where it can get pretty crazy in everyone’s house. But even then, there is a return to simplicity, joy and rest. A season of anticipation, a gathering of hearts and memories around times gone by. And a desire to resurrect not only memories but the feelings that accompanied them.
One of my fondest Christmas memories revolves around Midnight Mass. (I was raised Catholic) The entire community would come out at midnight on Christmas Eve to attend a service celebrating the birth of Christ. The cold air cut like a knife, and the sky, clear as a bell, displayed every star on a canvas of black velvet. I loved the hustle of families, children scurrying, everyone dressed to the hilt in their Christmas best. My four sisters and I donned matching outfits my mother made. I loved those outfits!
The mass was held in a sports gym, that seemed to me at the time, large enough to fit a city. We’d smell the incense walking into the building. I almost recall the nativity had live animals. Not quite sure that’s an accurate memory now, but we’ll just go with it.
Once the service started, the priests, majestically robed, would procession down the center aisle swinging their censers full of incense. The smell and the smoke filled the room. Reverently, one carried an enormous crucifix. Recalling my first experience with this mass, I was terrified at the pomp, but after that, I was in awe and wonder every year.
I remember the smells, the feelings, and the love. My love for my family and for Jesus. Although I don’t practice Catholicism now, my memories of it are sweet. I believe God uses every experience we have to draw us to Himself and that was accomplished in me in this experience.
I didn’t come away from that mass every year remembering religion but being drawn to God more and more and moved deeper in love with Jesus.
My prayer for you this Chrismas, as you revive memories of Christmas past and dream for the new year to come is that you would be drawn to God in intimacy and moved deeper in love with Jesus. Only His Spirit can accomplish these things.
Love others and let others love you. Love, so abundant but so neglected whether we give it or receive it. Simple yet difficult for some, almost impossible for others, but my hope is that love will be revived in you not only to give it but to receive it with joy, trust and complete abandon. A tall order I know, but Christmastime is the time where anything is possible. A time for miracles!
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Thank you always for your support and love!
Let Christ be Glorified in All!