Here’s the honest truth about this week’s photo: I have been trying for a few weeks to get an honest-to-goodness Christmas picture that I could post here, but it’s just not working out. As I type this it’s 60 degrees and sunny here in Oklahoma, with highs hitting the 70’s later this week which obviously rules out anything like snow, snowflakes, icicles, or anything that captures the essence of winter. I thought about taking photos of christmas lights or decorations, but I’ve done that before and it all seemed a bit too contrived. Instead what I decided to post here is an image of my eldest son skipping down the sidewalk at a local nature reserve. We like taking our boys there when the weather cooperates, and it certainly did on this early December morning when this photo was taken. I didn’t plan it and it doesn’t seem like a Christmas photo per se, but I’m using it anyway not because of what it is but because of what it represents.
We are told in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here.” Matthew also writes in his gospel that “Unless you become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.” To me these verses speak to the Christmas story as much as anything in the first few chapters of Luke. And watching my son run and skip down this path reminded me of the powerful sacrifice Jesus made for him, me, you, and all of us on this little blue marble in the sky. This pale blue dot, this mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam, this planet earth that we all call home. Jesus was born and lived a perfect life only to be sacrificed not for what he did wrong, but for our sins. That’s the true meaning of Christmas, and that’s what this season of presents, trees, lights, and carols really is all about.
This photo is not perfect: the colors in the sky are washed out, the silhouette of my son is barely visible against the dark sheaves of grass, and I wish I would have been a bit closer to get a cleaner composition. But seeing it fills me with hope not just for my kids but for the new year and for all of us. With so many uncertainties just around the corner we have to choose how we will respond when we wake up each day. We can approach tomorrow with fear and trepidation, or we can choose to be joyful and embrace the challenges that a new sunrise brings. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord, and with that I wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a most blessed new year.