The Abundant Life That Christmas Brings
More than two thousand years ago the Savior of the world, my Savior, Jesus Christ was born!
Christmas is one of the most beautiful days in the entire year. To me and people that share our faith in Christ it’s the most meaningful day right along with Easter Sunday.
Some people celebrate Christmas for many reasons and I don’t blame them. Gifts, parties, being with family and friends, and showing generosity to others are all wonderful ways to celebrate.
To me Christmas brings lots of delightful memories of my family in Ecuador. As a young girl we travelled every year to my grandparents house about two and half hours away from Quito, the capital. It used to take us between 4 to 6 hours to get there. I remember a few times when we barely made it right before midnight on Christmas Eve because of the condition of the roads. My favorite memories were seeing my grandparents, my cousins, and all the gifts. Because there were seven siblings, we would bring gifts for everyone. The food was always delicious too! Those days are priceless.
As I have been living in the US for the last 23 years, my memories of Christmas are different, but still beautiful. Some years my parents came to visit us for Christmas. A few years we went to visit them for the holidays. I remember one Christmas time when we went to visit my grandparents house with my husband and children. It was a beautiful time because I had the best of both worlds.
Our Christmas Eve and Christmas day are so much quieter than the ones I used to have growing up. My husband’s family consists of his mother, one brother, and our niece and nephew. Leon’s extended family are in Illinois and they are tons of them, even more than my family in Ecuador as his dad was one of eleven kids. Most of the time we invite somebody to spend Christmas day with us but still it feels like a small party. My kids don’t really know the difference between an Ecuadorian Christmas family reunion with about 30 to 40 people in a small house and a small Christmas gathering with between 7 to 10 people. They just love Christmas just the way it is. To me it feels like there is a big difference. But it doesn’t really matter. God in his infinite love still reminds me that His Spirit is the one that fills my house with Christmas cheer. Even though I might not have a house filled with 30 family members, I have a house filled with His love, peace, and joy. God has blessed me so much with a husband and children that are one of His greatest gifts of love to me.
His greatest gift to me is Christmas, the day God’s son came as a baby to be the Savior of the world. He came to reconcile us with the Father because as sinners, we could never make it on our own. Jesus came to show us the way to the Father, to redeem us from our sins, and to give us abundant life.
“Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”
Jesus came to give us abundant lives! The only way to have a meaningful, victorious life is through Him. His love for us conquered everything on the cross. In his resurrection, we can have an abundant life because His Spirit lives in us.
Every Christmas and everyday of my life, my heart will rejoice in the fact that Jesus was born to give me eternal life and an abundant life on this earth. When I celebrate Christmas, I am surrounded by my loving husband and three kids, loved ones, and the memories of the many beautiful Christmas’ with my family in Ecuador. But most importantly I am surrounded by His love. I am so thankful that I do have an abundant life and that one day I will be reunited face to face with God and with those that I miss so much.
May the love of our Saviour, His peace and joy fill your hearts with His presence. May the Holy Spirit comfort every part of your heart and may you have the abundant life that He came to give you.