Posted by: bellissimanh | December 18, 2011

From the Cradle to the Cross


Do you hear that? I can hardly believe it. It’s me. Breathing a sigh of contentment. Enjoying Christmas.

It’s been a long time comin’. It’s been nearly two years since I felt anything but depression when thinking about the holidays. I would stress about money, freak out about not having enough time to get everything done, grouse about the fact that my life was drastically different than I had imagined or hoped – through no choice of my own , and I would plaster on a smile and try to be merry… but deep down, I didn’t feel there was much to celebrate. Others would be giving thanks for the year behind us, but me? I was just glad it was over.

Before you go giving me a spiritual beat down, notice that I didn’t say there wasn’t anything to celebrate, just that I didn’t feel like celebrating. My head knows that Jesus is ALWAYS worth rejoicing over… and I tried to move that knowledge from my head to my heart, but it seemed there was just something in the way.

Now you might be expecting me to wax philosophical and tell you what caused that breakdown… and go on about the great lessons I learned as a result of choosing joy in the midst of trials. But I got nuthin’. Not today. Today I’m not about figuring it out… I’m just about enjoying the peace in my heart and cherishing the Lord Who gave it to me.

Funny… we’re cutting way back on Christmas this year, in terms of gift giving and the chaos that goes with it. We’re taking time instead to savor moments with family, to seek out and appreciate the beautiful, to engage in the quietness… and we’re better for it.

Stripped away of harried shopping and rushing from place to place… free of the myriad of “church” obligations that used to absolutely control our December schedule… focused on Christ and eucharisteo and what it looks like moment by moment to truly be grateful… this is good.

I was struck fresh this year by these lyrics:

Silent night, holy night

Son of God, love’s pure light

Radiant beams from Thy holy face

With the dawn of redeeming grace

Jesus, Lord at Thy birth….

Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.

“The dawn of redeeming grace.” While the world lay sleeping, off on the horizon of heaven, God’s plan of redemption was born. Through the most humble of circumstances He came, saving the sinful, loving the lowliest, dispensing mercy to the most desperate of hearts. Then the baby of the manger made His way to a cross, and there He offered up the greatest gift mankind has ever known – grace. Freely given, freely received. A gift that can’t be earned and can’t be bought, except with the precious blood of that babe in the hay. The Christ child. The Messiah. My sin demanded a sacrifice, and love became flesh and made Himself known… and for those who receive? Peace.

I pray you’ll find yourself unwrapping a beautiful package of grace in the days to come.

Merry Christmas!




  1. I totally get this. God bless you,dear friend. I pray God showers you and yours with abundant peace and grace. Love ya,

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