Our True Joy

I could hardly sleep with my young heart filled with so much anticipation. While I was thinking of what all the brightly wrapped gifts could hold I dozed off. As I slowly woke up very early the next morning, the realization came … it was Christmas morning!

With excitement, my siblings and I would carefully sneak down the stairs to my parent’s bedroom. When we cracked open the door to see if they were awake or not, one of us would ask “Mom, Dad you awake?”  And another would ask, “Can we open presents yet?” We would hear some grumbles and grunts coming from the direction of their bed. We assumed that those noises meant yes to our questions and Christmas morning could begin!

My siblings and I soon would gather around our Christmas tree as my parents would start hauling out those brightly wrapped gifts I was dreaming about the night before. Even though we lived on humble means, somehow the Christmas tree would seem to shrink under all the gifts that were placed under it.

Once the gifts were placed under the tree, my dad would go back to their bedroom for one more gift, the greatest gift, his Bible. My dad would sit us all down, open up his Bible and read to us out of Luke 2, the story of Jesus’ birth. He always wanted us to know and remind us of the true reason for this season, Jesus! After my dad was done reading, he would pass out all the gifts and the free for all present opening began.

Today, even though all four of us siblings are separated in four different states, we have yet to miss a Christmas at my parent’s home on the farm. My dad still reads out of Luke 2 and passes out all the gifts. We don’t get up as early and sometimes we don’t celebrate Christmas till the evening when my sister and her husband can get there. There is such joy in all of us getting together and spending Christmas day all together like we did as kids. I appreciate and am so thankful for these times of laughter and being together.

Even though all these wonderful traditions I have and spending time with my family brings me so much joy, it doesn’t compare to the true reason why this season is so joyful.

“Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’” Luke 2:10-11.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” –John 1:14a.

God became a man, fulfilling His promise to send us a Savior. He is our Immanuel, God with us, never to leave us. He sent us Jesus, who is our joy! Let us all rejoice and be joyful, our King and Savior has come!

Merry Christmas!

By Hannah Rodden