Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Jesus Was and Is Love

As I sat proudly watching my niece and nephew perform in their church Christmas play this past Friday night, my heart was full of emotions.  As I already said, I was super proud and so happy as they sang their little hearts out.  I was laughing at the cute script and all the little actors that did a fantastic job.  I was overjoyed at the meaning of the play and how it really showed the importance of the birth of Jesus.  The play was so perfect for the season as the kids had a Christmas spelling bee spelling the many names of Jesus.  What an awesome idea!  But I was also secretly a little sad.  I was secretly wishing my family were involved in a church Christmas play this year.  I was longing to be preparing the final touches to props and having the big dress rehearsal.  I was wanting my oldest daughter to have something to be excited about.  She loves singing and performing, and she has been missing our "usual" church events.

The first year I committed to directing the Christmas play at church, I was very pregnant with our littlest one.  It was overwhelming, but the joy of watching those kids perform is in my top ten best feelings ever.  My daughter wanted a "script" so bad.  She was only two and a half, but she HAD to have something to say.  She was part of the caroling group, and I finally gave in and had her and the other little ones scream "Merry Christmas" after their first set of songs.  She was very satisfied with that.  On the day of the performance, when it was her turn to get on stage, she would only face the side of the audience that our family was sitting in.  She refused to face the center of the stage like she had practiced.  She was so adorable as she proudly sang directly towards her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  She was so happy.  I miss that joy this season...but we are confident we will have it again.  And hey, maybe the Lord will have us settled somewhere permanently just in time for an Easter celebration!

With all that said, here is an adorable story about a Christmas program I had to share!

Christmas Love 
by Candy Chand

Each December,  I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful

experience. I had cut back on nonessential obligations - extensive card 
writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending.

Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the 

precious  family moments, and of course, the true meaning of

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year.  It was an 

exciting  season for a six year old. For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's "Winter Pageant."

I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of

the production.  Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with
his teacher.   She assured me there'd be a dress rehearsal the
morning of the presentation.  All parents unable to attend that evening
were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed 
happy with the compromise.

So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes 

early,  found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around
the room, I saw several  other parents quietly scampering to their seats.

As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class,

accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by
one, rose to perform their song.

Because the public school system had long stopped referring to

The holiday as "Christmas," I didn't expect anything other than fun,
commercial entertainment - songs of reindeer, Santa Claus,
snowflakes and  good cheer. So, when my son's class rose to sing,
"Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.

Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in

fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads.

Those in the front row- center stage - held up large letters,

one by  one, to spell out the title of the song. As the class would sing 
"C is for Christmas," a child would hold up the  letter C. 

Then, "H is for Happy," and on and on, until
each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, 

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed
her; a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M"
upside down -  totally unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W".

The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little

one's  mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her,
so she stood tall, proudly holding her "W".

Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter
continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it 
together. A  hush came over the audience and eyes began to 

In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we

celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the
chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud 
and  clear: 

"C H R I S T W A S   L O V E"

And,  I believe, He still is.

Today's Verses
1 John 4:10 "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
1 John 4:19 "We love him, because he first loved us."

These verses are found in the section which my Bible entitles "God is Love" 1 John 4:7-21.  These are wonderful verses about the love of our Heavenly Father.  When Jesus was born to be the Savior of the world, HE WAS LOVE!  And He is still Love today.  As the song my daughters love to sing says, "Praise Him, praise Him, all you little children, God is love, God is love!"

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