In 1995 I received a tree ornament from my oldest son that he made in daycare. This one has his handprint and a conversation recorded on the back about what he wanted for Christmas that year. It goes like this:
Miss Lavran: “What is Santa Claus bringing you this year?”
Dillon: “Something. Blue toys, I think. Big ones. I need another police car because my other police car is broken. I need another radio for my mommy and daddy.”
Miss Lavran: “Is that it?”
Dillon: “Uh huh, it is.”
In the early years of his life, his dad was a police officer. Wanting to imitate his dad, Dillon dressed in his makeshift uniform. Patrolling the living room in his red police car, he would make siren noises while pulling over suspicious stuffed animals, instructing them to behave. Each year that ornament provokes a flood of sweet memories I hold dear to my heart. But this sweet memory always begs the question,
“Am I emulating my heavenly Father?
Am I a light in this dark world?
Do I walk in love?
Do I have the fruit of the Spirit…self-control, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness…?”
I am afraid to answer those questions honestly. How about you? In the hustle and bustle of this season, I can so easily lose perspective about its true meaning. I’m not so loving when I’m cut off in the parking lot at the mall. I’m not so patient when the lines are long. I lack self-control and indulge in holiday sweets. Oh, how writing this to you has brought to light how far I have drifted from emulating my heavenly Father!
It’s time to pause and remember the “why” of the birth of Christ.
“Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David.” (Luke 2:11 HCSB)
God sent His Son because all of us were desperately lost…separated from God without a Savior.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
God’s love provoked Him to give us His own Son, that we would gain through Him, eternal and abundant life.
I believe the best way to celebrate our Savior’s birth is remembering and applying Ephesians 4:23 -24 (HSCB) – “You are being renewed in the spirit of your minds. You put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.”
“Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)
Like my son emulating his dad, we ought to emulate our heavenly Father. Be patient, loving, and forgiving to those you come in contact with this season. Share His love so that others may come to know Him as their Lord and Savior. What better gift to give at Christmas than to give the good news!
Jodi Aiken is the mom to two boys, a frequent blogger, and speaker for conferences focused on making disciples among women. She is passionate about sharing her stories and teaching others to know Him and make Him known. She has dedicated over 15 years to leading women’s ministry. Jodi holds an Associates of Science in Business Administration from Pensacola State College, works as a Realtor in the Florida panhandle, and is married to Chris Aiken, a senior pastor in Pensacola and her husband of 28 years. Check out Jodi at her blog. JodiAiken.com