One of my forum names is Joyfull. I like to choose usernames that remind me of things that I like to remember and give me joy. I chose this name because I like to remember that joy is not necessarily happiness, but joy is something that comes from God, and we can experience it even in difficult or sad situations.
Well, Christmas is a very special time for me. It brings me memories of my childhood Christmases at my grandmother’s home in Ameca, a small town in Mexico. All my aunts and uncles, and cousins gathered there every year and stayed for a couple of days. My grandparent’s house was huge with lots of interesting little corners and nooks, and a lot of flavor. We children could walk freely to the town-square, which was just a block away from the house. We liked to see what the street vendors had, bought a hot corn on the cob, go to the plaza and listen to mariachi music. It was such a great time for me!
As a Catholic family, we celebrated the birth of Jesus, and besides the Christmas tree, we always had a Nativity set in our home. I grew up with reverence for God, but it was until I was an adult that I had a marvelous personal encounter with God that changed my life forever! He made me realize how Holy He is, and how we needed a perfect, sinless, Saviour to pay the debt we couldn’t pay to be able to go to Heaven and come into His presence. That Saviour is God Himself in the person of Jesus Christ. I’m going to read the first few verses of chapter 1 of the book of John in the New Testament. This passage is so significant to me, because it makes it clear who Jesus really is, and in this time of the year that we celebrate His coming into the world, it helps me remember how much He loves us, that He was willing to leave heaven and become human, and suffer so much, to make the way for us to God. Here it goes:
1)In the beginning was the Word,
And the Word was with God,
And the Word was God.
2) The same was in the beginning with God.
3) All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.
4)In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5) And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.
Verse 9: That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10) He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.
11) He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12) but as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:
13) which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, not of the will of man, but of God.
14) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
That Word, w-o-r-d is Jesus! So on this Christmas season, I’d like to invite you to reflect and meditate on these words, and I pray that this Christmas has a very special meaning to you, that you have a personal encounter with the creator of the universe, like I did many years ago, and that He fills your Christmas with His Joy.