Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy Birthday Jesus

I don't have a picture of today's birthday person like I normally do. It doesn't matter anyway. You all know what He kind of looks like. Appearance-wise, He probably didn't stand out very much. It was what He said and did that caught one's attention.

I have known Jesus since I was a senior in high school. I was reluctant at first because I knew this was not a person you could flake on or forget about. I knew this relationship would be hard work and a lifetime of commitment. It was difficult for me back then to even imagine a marriage commitment, much less an eternal one. I knew this relationship would lead to a drastic change, and I didn't think I needed a change. I wasn't on drugs. I was a good student and daughter, a decent person in general.

Jesus was patient and kind with me. He could have allowed me to be bombarded with sorrows and tragedies that would have left me with no choice but to turn to Him. Instead, He surrounded me with loving Christian people that gently nudged me in the right direction. The more I learn about Him, the more I am amazed by how loving He is.

It is so hard to put into words what Jesus means to me. I think it's better that way; He shouldn't be easily categorized by a few words. One thing He has meant to me is freedom. Freedom from sin, for one thing. Lots of people think that Christianity is all about the rules, and that freedom is the ability to sleep around, get drunk, party, and do whatever they want. These and other sins are not freedom; they're traps. Left unfettered, sin always leads to more sin, as natural and sure as a ball falling if you drop it on earth. Gambling usually leads to more gambling, getting drunk leads to alcoholism, sometimes even death. Sleeping around leads to spreading of disease. It's all a deathtrap. The "milder" sins are no exception. The only way to break free of this natural cause and effect is through Jesus, because Jesus has occupied the deathtrap for us already. All sins demand a consequence. Some people take the consequence upon themselves, and some pass it to Jesus. God wants us to do the second; otherwise He wouldn't have orchestrated the whole thing. He's merciful and forgiving that way.

Actually, I'm as free as the next person to do whatever I want. Just like when Raina grows up, she'll be free to eat all the candy, cookies, and ice cream she wants. But I know better, and I hope she will know better too. A relationship with Jesus is one of the hardest things to establish and maintain, but it is so worth it. In fact, there is nothing more worthwhile, not even motherhood.

There is so much more about Him to tell, too much for one day's blog. Maybe another day...

In a way, today is not just Jesus' birthday but mine, Kevin's, the kids', and yours as well. Let's all make it a good one.

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