The Norman Transcript

Religion

December 21, 2012

The meaning of Christmas

NORMAN — Would you consider the death of a human being a gift? Our hearts are quickened when we hear of a father defending his child and paying the ultimate price, death. We are sometimes confronted with tragedy as in Newtown, Conn., where administrators and teachers died heroically to save their precious little children from a madman. We are moved beyond words.

Death has a way of getting our attention and striking the chords of our heart.

Amazingly, Christmas is about life, about the birth of a child, all the goodness of humanity, but this day also is about a Savior, Christ the Lord, about sacrificial love, about redeeming us from our sins and grace. The very core of humanity is impacted.

The loss of a loved drives this point home as no other.

Christmas Eve a few years back as I watched my dad pass away, I had noticed along the hallways of the Hospice center the glow of the Christmas tree, lights dancing off the silver glitter, gifts beautifully wrapped, yet, what mattered was love. Divine love soothes us when nothing else will, inspires us to care and sacrifice for others, offers hope beyond loss and tragedy — life and family, life and sacrifice, life and love, life and grace, life and death.

Christmas is a celebration; life and family, life and love, life and sacrifice, life and death, life and the gift of grace.

The birth and death of Christ gets our attention. We are loved. Our hearts are struck. We are changed forever. We are filled with a joy that passes all understanding.

What a gift.

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