I think it was yesterday. But to be honest, with my son's and wife's birthdays a day apart and our daughter arriving any day and general Holiday Over Busy I'm not sure. Yeah. It was Friday I think.
I felt "Christmasy" for the first time. Those of you who have known me for awhile will know that this is my favorite time of year. It's always been. I love it. I play Christmas songs from the day after Thanksgiving, I like to over-decorate the tree and hang up lights and cram decade old ornaments in with new ones and I like to stuff shelves with snowmen and garland and Christmas Scented candles (who knew Christmas had a smell?)
And Saturday - ah! it was Saturday - I finally got to finish shopping for my lovely bride. I was zooming around town listening to...worship music.
Not Christmas music.
Just regular old worship.
You know, songs about Jesus and God - like "Worship His Majesty"
And I felt it. For me, honestly, it's cooler than downhill skiing. Cooler than hiking the Rockies or running headlong into the surf. I felt the joy of dwelling on Immanuel. God with us.
God did it. And I asked myself, as I do every year, "Why would You do that?" Because, to be honest, being out among the masses 3 days before Christmas does little to endear me to humanity. And when I ask, He always says, "For I so loved the world..."
And things change. I see these people scurrying about and cutting me off in traffic and going into debt for silly presents and - and instead of getting frustrated - I want to talk to them and let them see who God really is and I want them to celebrate God with me. And I look for ways to encourage instead of scorn. Help instead of grumble. Serve instead of sanctify myself.
And I think about eternity. And how many of these people will be there with me?
Do you think we'll have Christmas in heaven?
I do. And I hope you'll celebrate it here with me. If only for a little while. Until I get too busy or tired or disoriented. Until I forget and have to be reminded that the Joy of Christmas - it's not just some man-made feeling. Hallmark didn't make this one up. God did. And it's not everyone who feels it because, well, life is pretty dad-gum hard sometimes and it's easy to get overwhelmed. But it's a lot less hard when we're in it together. God with us. Immanuel.
At least for a little while, it's nice to get a glimmer of what will be forever.