Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child

Our church has recently been doing a message series for Christmas based around The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis. There was a question at the top of the card I received announcing this series: What if there were no Christmas? In the book it said that in Narnia it was "always winter but never Christmas". I began thinking how sad it would be if there were no Christmas. But in the book this statement is made to a child, and I thought how much more sad would a child feel if there were no Christmas? To children everything is larger than life. Christmas is especially magical to a child, filled with awe and wonder. Children look forward to Christmas with great anticipation.

To see things through the eyes of a child is so interesting and wonderful. For example, last Saturday morning I was up early and it was snowing. Our Christmas decorations were up and the snow added to that Christmas feeling. When my daughter got up she announced excitedly that it was snowing and went right away to the window to watch. Then my son got up and said "WOW! Why is it snowing?!" Then he too ran to the window and pressed his face against it to watch the snow. Then he says to me, "Mommy, no one is looking out their window. I guess they are still sleeping." I said, "yes they probably are." When I thought about what he said I realized that it was his assumption that as soon as people got up they would run to their windows to look out at the falling snow as he had done.

Sadly, most adults would not share in my children's excitement about the snow. They would naturally be concerned about having to drive in it or the irritation of shoveling it. The magic and wonder of a December snowfall fades away once we move into adulthood. In the same way adults tend to lose their wonder and excitement about Christmas. The many awe inspiring events surrounding the birth of Jesus, a virgin being with child, the announcement by angels that a savior had been born in Bethlehem, Magi traveling from a distant land following a star to find this baby, and countless others all become just a story we are used to hearing every year instead of real events in history that changed our lives forever. We become so stressed with shopping, wrapping, baking, parties, and events that we forget why we are celebrating. I have even heard many people say they couldn't wait for Christmas to be over. I have been guilty of this myself in the past, but I have never heard a child say that. Jesus said in Matthew 18:3 "I tell you the truth unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven".

When I asked my children why we celebrate Christmas my son said "because it is Jesus' birthday, we should get Him a present mommy." Then my daughter says to him "do you know the present Jesus wants most of all, you. This year let's try to view Christmas through the eyes of a child remembering that first and foremost it is Jesus birthday and everything we do should be to honer Him. Let's not lose our awe, wonder and anticipation as we celebrate God's most precious gift to us.

Have a blessed Christmas,
Kim Ratcliffe

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