Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Eve Will Find You

I have thought a lot about this semester. A part of it has sped by way too fast, and a part of it went by way too slow. I have learned more about myself than ever. I have read more Theology than I ever thought I could have in three months. I have read Paul’s Epistles with a whole new understanding of unity, the Church, love, and suffering. All in all, I have been left with a lot of thought projects. I think one thing I have learned above all else is to complete your thought projects, so you don’t let them overwhelm you.

I suppose I could go on thinking about Calvinism, High Church, the Eucharist, and Beauty forever. Or I could come to the end of my wits and just spout my own creed about a certain Theological Topic. It might be premature, but it is also necessary to have an opinion on necessary theology. A wise professor once stated, “By the time you graduate college, you must have a Theological opinion about what you are studying.” Let us think when necessary, but let us decide eventually as well.

I am incredibly thankful for my family. It has been a blessing to go to the same school as Scott. I learn new things from him all the time and even when he makes mistakes, I am still learning from him. The best part about being his younger brother has been watching him grow up and make decisions. And now as he graduates college with high honors, I could not be more proud and happy to be a part of his life.

My mom is always encouraging me. I would say I love her for doing that…but then I would leave out the rest of the 101 reasons on why I love her. I believe encouragement is too undervalued. It really isn’t hard to encourage another person, yet I never do it enough. I often time want to be the first person to tell a friend I’m proud of them or that they look really amazing, but for some reason, it almost feels awkward to be too overly encouraging. Why is that? I don’t think it should ever be awkward to encourage another person. Paul was the master of encouragement when necessary and ‘harsh words’ when also necessary.

It saddens me that I am not a part of the Christmas season with my family. By the time I get home, Christmas is already less than a week away and I often feel that being at college forces you to forget the Christmas season. This year, however, Christmas may mean more than ever. The Word hath become flesh (John 1:14). Wow. That statement blows me away every time. The Christmas story is in Luke…but the story of Christ’s love for us shines the brightest in John 1. Reading authors such as Athanasius and Anselm and trying to figure out what the Incarnation means for us as humans has made me appreciate Christmas more than ever. We tend to focus on Christmas presents and traditions too much and we forget what it means that Christ had to become nothing to even live with us…let alone to die for us (Philippians 2). And so we will decorate our tree and take Christmas pictures. We will watch Christmas movies and listen to music and we will open presents and take down our decorations and then we will do it all again next year. And somehow, we will forget that Christ’s example of becoming nothing for our behalf should somehow inspire us to be nothing for those who are less fortunate than us. I ponder this now. But I may forget all of this come next May. And that is sad.

May we never forget. Ever.

I peered into little circles of Green Tea Ice Cream,
And found a dot really did exist in the middle.
It was a game to focus on that little dot,
But I lost…for I was overwhelmed with beauty,

Seven freckles sparkled especially bright that night.
They looked like the big dipper,
But maybe they just represented the days of creation,
Or the days between Jesus on a Donkey,
and Jesus resurrected from grave.

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