“I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Right after Thanksgiving
this year, my son who has more Christmas spirit than anyone I know
wanted to decorate our house for Christmas. We put on some Christmas
carols then, went into the closet holding the decorations, and dug them
out. The artificial tree took a while to set up.
I had misplaced one
of the bottom support legs. Thankfully, my son soon found it. After that
things went smoothly. The tree was wrapped in lights and tinsel.
Ornaments were hung. Tiny statues of Santa and Dicken’s era Christmas
carolers were set out. Stockings and old Christmas cards were tacked to
Finally, with great care I took out the last
of our decorations: my Nana’s old, battered Nativity scene. The section
with the wise men had broken off and been lost years ago. The wire to
the lightbulb signifying the star of Bethlehem was also gone. Still, in
the manger lay the sweet, baby Jesus with Joseph and Mary beside him.
And behind them were the peacefully kneeling cow and donkey.
I looked at the
Nativity for a long time. I remembered how my Nana used to bend down and
lovingly kiss the baby Jesus when she would set it down. I remembered
how when I was a child the Christmas story had seemed so strange and
left me with so many questions. Why hadn’t they let them in the Inn?
What were frankincense and myrrh? Was the baby Jesus cold being born in
a barn with only a straw filled manger to keep him warm?
I know now, though,
that this baby will never be cold again. He lives in the warm hearts of
everyone who open themselves to Him. He lives in the light of Heaven and
in the love we all share with each other. He walks with us in our lives
and can help us to make every day Christmas. May you always welcome Him
into your home, your life, and your soul.
By: Joseph J. Mazzella