[ Jesus, Lord at thy birth ]

Yesterday, the Spirit fell and I melted into a big weepy mess on the brief drive to Targhetto for some last minute Christmas shopping. I was in what has been my normative state since I found out I would NOT be home for Christmas this year. That is to say, perpetually grumbly, whiny, nobody-likes-me-everybody-hates-me-guess-I’ll-go-eat-worms, on the verge of total meltdown any moment, and overflowing with self-pity and ingratitude.

Annoyed with absolutely every CD I own, I flicked the radio to the local Christmas station, hoping against hope they might be playing something to make me less homesick  (ie: NOT “I’ll be home for Christmas”) or perhaps less irritable (ie: NOTHING by Michael W Smith). To my surprise, I heard the most simply arranged instrumental version of “Silent Night” – and wept like a child. While stuck in traffic in the winter wonderland that is Minnesota right now, the Lord broke through my bitterness. How dare I grumble about my lot? What business do I have complaining that I’m being deprived of all the things everyone “deserves” to have on Christmas? (Namely: going home.) Where do I get off hoping whatever’s in that box from my Mom is going to bring me enough joy to bring me out of my bad mood? Hasn’t the Lord already given me the very best gift? He gave me CHRIST! He washes away my sin, He’s with me always, He loves me infinitely more than anyone else ever will, He’ll never leave me or forsake me, He never fails, He works all things for my good, He is steadfast and faithful to me in spite of my sin. Talk about what I deserve!! Certainly none of the things the Lord has given me in Christ Jesus, wrapped in his grace, mercy, and steadfast love.  Forbid that attitude in me, Lord. Forgive me. Wash me whiter than snow in your blood. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.

And as if that charge of ingratitude were not enough, I have failed to be thankful for the friends and family He has given me right here. Were I to name all the people and things He’s blessed me with here in Minnesota, I’m sure I’d be sitting here forever writing about them instead of enjoying them. So thank you, Jesus, for all the countless blessings you’ve poured out upon me and especially for the cross. Now off to celebrate Christmas as a Christian Hedonist!

Music: Casting Crowns – “Silent Night”