One October I was asked to write Easter devotions for my church. Even though it was only October, I began listening to Easter music, reading Easter stories, studying Easter symbolism, and watching Easter movies. By December, I was firmly entrenched … and completely unprepared for a collision of Easter and Christmas.In December I saw clearly the baby Jesus, so pure and lovely and vulnerable – while daily I confronted the horrors that awaited him. The nativity characters looked so angelic, so pleased by the new baby – while I wrote about scourges and spears.
On one occasion I stopped by the nursery at church. It is hard to describe the experience of writing about those heavy 7-9 inch nails driven into the hands of Jesus – then seeing tiny baby hands. Or gazing at soft baby skin, and imaging my Savior’s soft baby skin that would one day be ripped away by a Roman scourge. I saw those sweet babies’ heads, covered in the softest of hair – while the pain and humiliation of the crown of thorns was vivid in my mind.
The greatest impact of all came in late December, as I neared the end of my reading through the Bible chronologically in a year. I admit to being a little behind – OK, a lot behind. I was burning through the epistles at lightening speed, then I hit Revelation. I slowed down. I lingered. I reread parts. The last four chapters never sounded so good. It was the ultimate victory of that sweet vulnerable baby I had just worshiped, and that beautiful Savior in whose agony I had been immersed for 10 weeks! It was the confluence of the birth, death and ultimate victory, descending on me en masse. The experience was electrifying – exhilarating.
May you experience the fullness of Christmas this year.
Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.