When I first became a Christian, years ago in Seal Beach, CA, it was as if I saw the entire Christmas season through new eyes. My senses were keenly aware of the importance of this time…to think of a girl, pregnant for the first time, carrying the Messiah, and facing the ridicule of an unplanned pregnancy in the eyes of the public. To imagine the awesomeness of the shepherd’s interaction with the angels, in the stillness of the night, all the “choirs of angels” and their fullness of joy as they pronounced the arrival of the King!
It all came to my emotional finality in the quietness of midnight on Christmas Eve. Although we had lived in the same neighborhood for several years, things happened that I had not ever noticed before. Was I oblivious to it because of my spiritual ignorance, or was it something that God created just for me? I believe it was a little of both, instrumented in His glory as a gift to me.
It was a late night, and for some reason I could not sleep. It was mild weather, normal for December in Southern California, so the bedroom windows were open, and the sound of the ocean’s waves crashed rhythmically on the shore. Not noticing time or space, I rose out of bed and sat on the balcony, overlooking the stillness of the town, the greenway park empty, yet lit up by the street lights all down the road. Then, as if out of no where, the sound of carols being played by church bells rang throughout the town! From midnight on, song after song, I don’t even know how long it lasted, the carols sang out, proclaiming the King’s birth!
It was as if each melody drew out from my heart the lyrics, making them real to me for the very first time! I cried at the proclamation of Jesus’ birth! Rejoice! Emmanuel!! He has come!!
Now I live in Kentucky, and I’m far from the sound of the ocean’s waves or the little church down the road that had the Christmas bells in their steeple. Sometimes I can see the wind blowing the fields of grass and it mimics the ocean’s currents, or I can imagine the sound of the waves breaking on the shore on crisp, cold, winter nights, with no water in sight. Yet Christmas season is always a time of miracles as I remember back to my first “real” Christmas, and the special gift that God gave to me that night.
Marina works for DaySpring and blogs at Marina’s Kitchen Table
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