A Mother’s Christmas

A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth. Ecclesiastes 7:1

I know I might take some heat for this, but I don’t think Christmas and Easter are too different. Sure, Easter seems more solemn—especially leading up. But I suspect that you, like me, are having trouble being very “merry” right now.

A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth.

Talk about precious ointment! What did it smell like in that manger? Think of Joseph. At this point in my life, I can kind of imagine what it’s like to be a new dad. It seems wild. If I was Joseph then, I would have some self-esteem problems. Everybody thinks I’m a nobody. I am not providing. Can’t even book a motel for myself or someone I love. But Joseph had faith. God came to the manger.

I submit to you that they had a Hairy Christmas. It was not a Christmas that seemed to be clean; it seemed to be unclean. But it was good! Life has been messy for me too recently. Looking for a job, making a schedule for myself, remembering to get outside and make friends. Sometimes I really only want to despair or complain. I know God has made it good though. He is being glorified in my real, basic, semi-freefalling life as I walk with others, following Him.

A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth.

Where would you look for Christ the Lord?

Those shepherds were scared. Luke says they were “keeping watch over their flocks by night” when “an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them” (2:8-9). I submit to you that for them this was a Scary Christmas. Is what they are hearing real, is God speaking to them, how is this gonna affect the grazing schedule, what will the people in town say and how about my parents—wait a second, where did that sheep go?

Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. Luke 2:12

What kind of sign is that? It is a sign of mercy. God met the shepherds where they were at. Christ was a child.

A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth.

If you are on the fence about the Resurrection, you’re in good company. The day of His death was a bad day for the disciples. It was the day when their boss, guru, all-around-good-time-guy, and maybe father figure really seemed to let them down. This was someone who they were starting to have really strong feelings about. Maybe He could save them, and maybe others. Maybe they could be a part of that. 

They had another picture of Jesus,
They did not believe him when he said
Now he is dead. They have no leader. Peter, who thought he was the runner up, denies Jesus three times. Their true nature is coming out. They literally “go fishing.” What could pull them out of this hole?

A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth.

What is that emotion which has been passed down through the ages to us? What do we see coming out of their lives? That joy! If Christ had broken His promises and stayed dead, where would that have come from? Who can have joy in the face of death, who can give joy if they are dead? The joy of the disciples is our smoking gun. They saw Christ and knew He was the Son of God.

The shepherds were afraid to approach Him. But he was swaddled and laid in a manger. The disciples could not fully believe His words. But he was wrapped in cloth and laid in a tomb.

I have that joy, with the other writers and by faith with all my brothers and sisters in Christ. Joy, that Christ is—that He is Himself—that Christ is real. Joy, that we are together in Him and I can keep the door open for others. Joy in His name. Merry Christmas!

About The Author

A Computer Science student at Carnegie Mellon University, Joseph used to argue with the other members of Morning Walk and still does not understand too much. He was picked up out of the deep mud a few years ago with their help and now loves Jesus. God used his family at home and his brothers and sisters in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship to teach him love and now they are the stars in the night sky to him.

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