North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

December 19, 2013

Danielle Cater: Feeling empty this Christmas? Remember the Child

Danielle Cater: Feeling empty this Christmas? Remember the Child

By Danielle Cater
North Jefferson News

NORTH JEFFERSON — This is it! The big day! This is the day that everyone looks forward to for the whole year! The biggest holiday of the year! The happiest days of your life — how’s it turning out for you so far?

If you feel like something is missing, then it very well may be.

If Christmas just doesn’t meet up to your pre-set ideas and standards, perhaps you are missing the point.

I talked in this column last week about the presents, food, family and friends of Christmas. Those things bring us so much happiness and fulfillment, but even having all of those things can leave your life feeling void. And it can especially leave your Christmas feeling like something very important is lacking. If you are having these feelings today, perhaps it’s time for us to talk about the real reason for this season. Christmas would be nothing if not for that baby child born in the manager in Bethlehem so many years ago.

Let me take you back to a girl, about 15 years old, who was already engaged to the man of her dreams. They had a legally binding agreement, and all she was waiting on for her wedding event was for him to finish building the house on his father’s land for them to live. Her excitement was growing as her engagement was coming to an end. As she sat there churning the butter in her mom’s kitchen, she dreamed of her wedding day and someday having kids of her own. As she swept the floor of the kitchen, she thought of her own kitchen she would be sweeping soon enough.

Then out of the blue, an angel appeared before her telling her that she would have a child. And not just any child — she was going to bring the savior of the world into this earth.

Needless to say she was confused, scared and probably horrified. She said that it couldn’t be, so for she was saving herself for her husband. The angel told her that the Holy Ghost would come upon her and she would conceive and bring forth a baby boy, whom she was to name Jesus.

Boy, this was not going to go well with her fiance, Joseph. But thank God, He sent an angel to Joseph also to ease his mind about the situation.

After nine long months, Mary had that baby in a manger in Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph didn’t live there, but thanks to a tax collection in the land, everyone had to go to their family’s original city. The town was crowded that night and everyone and their momma were trying just to find a place to rest for the evening, as was the case for Mary and Joseph.

When they came to the hotel, they were hoping for any room available, but the desk clerk let them know very quickly that there were no rooms open. Mary was probably starting to go into labor at this point, and I’m sure Joseph would have given anything to get her to a soft bed in a warm room. “Is there anything you can do for us? I’ll pay whatever.”

The desk clerk took pity on them and directed them out back to the stable. The best he could offer was a manger full of hay that the cows and horses had been nibbling on.

Mary was just happy to be off the donkey, and soon afterward she gave birth to the savior of the world. Such a humble beginning to the life that would save all of mankind.

The redeemer of the entire world — past, present and future — was born in a trough behind a hotel to a young couple who were probably full of anticipations and worries. God must have had a lot of faith in Mary and Joseph to entrust them with the birth of His only begotten Son.

And so the Christmas story began. There were shepherds in a field who were bombarded by choirs of angels singing to them, and there were wise men who followed a star for years just to find the wisest of them all. There were kings who plotted and planned ways to kill this threat to their thrones.

But the main story of Christmas, the reason for everything we celebrate during this time was breaking forth in his first cries as a newborn baby.

I’m sure Mary kissed Him on the head and held Him close to her chest as she sang Him the same lullabies her mom use to sing to her. Oh, we can glorify it and make it so glamourous and outlandish, but the truth of the matter is that Jesus came from humble beginnings. He didn’t have a halo of gold around his head everywhere he went. He still cried like any other baby. He had to have His diapers changed and He had to learn to walk and talk.

But this child was different. This child saved my soul from hell. Through this child, my family will be united for all of eternity when this life is over. This child is my Hope. This child is my Peace. This child is my King and this child is my Savior.

If you feel like you are missing something this Christmas day, perhaps you should get to know this child. He will bring you the peace to fill your longings and will make this Christmas one you will never forget.