Christmas… a season of traditions?

It´s amazing how we are creatures of habit. Even those of us who love change & adventure! Not being in the blistering midwest cold adorned in a wool sweater & socks with the familiar Christmas tunes repeating in the background everywhere just makes it difficult to realize the season we´re in. When I stop to think about it, maybe being somewhere completely different from the ¨norm¨ for a holiday supposedly celebrates the birth of our Lord (along with all the cultural & pagan things we mix in) truly helps to strip away all that this celebration is not really about.

Jesus, Emanuel – God with us, wasn´t born on December 25th necessarily! Did he grow up celebrating his birthday in snow with chestnuts roasting on an open fire with jingle bells all around? My guess is no. Don´t get me wrong, I´m not condemning tradition, I´m just currently in a place where with those traditions stripped, I´m drawn to reflect more on what we celebrate as well as how.

I´m struck this year by the profound truth that Jesus is also named as I previously wrote, Emmanuel – God with us. I feel at a loss of words as I desire to understand more than I ever have what that means & pray it may sink in.

It´s mere days before Christmas & I´m down in Santo Domingo, the capital, spending some time with family down here (my mom´s cousin Kirk, his wife Melisa & their daughter Iandra Marie). Last week up in the mountains was quite rainy & chilly- there´s no real weather man around to say the temperature of how ¨chilly¨it actually is, but i piled on layers & layers of clothes at night & in the morning until it warmed up mid-day. Now down on the coast, it´s more than easy enough to be warm & entering the air conditioned mall where I´m using the internet for the first time in almost a week, it´s a refreshing change from the heat of midday here. For those of you enjoying all those traditions I grew up with & who are maybe in the middle of a little too much cold, may your holidays & time with family be filled with the warmth of the Carribean in your hearts! Love & prayers to you as we celebrate with great joy that God is with us!

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