Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
The Jonathan Tree Daniel(8) and Natalie (6)
Cookies for Santa, My little shining lights, stain glass window in our church
Since Jonathan’s death I have struggled with the cross. In all of my getting to know the character of God the cross always made sense. But, since Jonathan’s death I have questioned why the cross is necessary. If God is God then why did Jesus have to die? And of course the underlying question, how does Jonathan’s death work anything for good?
At the Christmas Eve service, as the pastor shared the sermon, the Lord jolted my attention. I mean, sat me up straight and sent me searching for a pen. He said, Karisa I want you to hear this and he wasn’t talking about my ears. My soul was now leaning into the next words.
“It was not enough that Jesus came as a little baby. We don’t need a perfect example, we need a savior.”
It isn’t enough that Jesus came as a baby, grew up among us, did miracles, gave us some good principals to live by. Those are all amazing, but the cross is necessary! Because, you see, with one fell swoop God said Karisa I came for you! Reader, I came for you! Oh, the power surging through my fingers as I type this message to you.
I can celebrate Christmas, despite the loss of Jonathan this year, because God said that I was worth saving. My son was worth saving. You are worth saving.
How can I not live life to the fullest? How can I not wake my daughter up yesterday morning with the delight of Christmas? How can I not share with you the joy that comes in the midst of my pain and casts despair to the deepest part of the sea? I want you to know that Jesus came for you, not when you had your act together, but when you didn’t even know that you needed him. He loved me when I was still forming in my mother’s womb, he valued me when others abused me, he claimed me when I rejected him at 19, and became an anorexic drunk, and he saved me when I was an unwed mother at 20. I had grown up hearing about the man called Jesus, but it is only at the foot of the cross that I really saw him for the Son of God!
Open each day like it is a gift and may it be filled with joy that transcends your understanding! Because, God does things that don’t make sense to me and I love him for it. He rescued me in a mind blowing way, and it started with a little baby in a manger, but it did continued all the way to the cross and a grave that could not contain him! Merry Christmas!