Just Believe



You have everything you need…..if you just believe………”Believe” from Polar Express

What is it about Christmas that has the power to conjure up our most tender and joyful memories, or deepest regrets of all that we wished for, but never received? What makes us even as grown adults long for it still. What about it evokes such longing in our hearts and brings the faint possibility of hope in mankind when everything we see on the news seems to defy it?

Because deep in our hearts, we know that the hope of Christmas is real.

I don’t have to stick a sign in my yard that tells me Jesus is the reason for the season because I already know it. And the world knows it too. You don’t have to be raised in church to know whose birth we celebrate. 

December 1st is the day I give myself permission to open the floodgates on celebrating. The outside Nativity will go up, and the bare corner awaits the main tree. The cats are happy with the extra things to play in and around and each year they love to roost under the tree. They think  it’s their own personal forest.

And each year hope is kindled anew.

This morning I listened to the Christmas CD I made last year. The second song is “Believe” from the Polar Express. I think of what my Dad told me once….”The kid in that movie is me.” He told me how every year for him Christmas started the same way, full of hopes and dreams, and every year it ended with his Mom and Dad getting drunk and yelling and screaming.

And then I think of Elaine, who had every toy she ever got taken away or broken by her oldest brother. She could never count on it being there, she could always count on it being taken.

And the little girl on her bus yesterday who told her: “I may get to see the Christmas lights, if my Mom and Dad aren’t fighting this year.” Then she went on to describe how every year she goes and visits Santa at the North Pole. She asked Elaine, “Have you ever been?” Like it was the most normal thing in the world. When Elaine asked her how she went, she said, “Well, first we take the car, then we take a plane, then we take the train to meet Santa, and he always gives me a hug.”

Her heart melted, of course.

In light of all that, I was reduced to a puddle of tears when I listened to the song this morning, beautifully sung by “my celebrity boyfriend” Josh Groban. His voice just does things to my heart, and of course it doesn’t hurt that he looks that way.

But here is the true reality of Christmas, and why it never has to disappoint, ever again:  

The scripture says, “Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed.” Romans 10:11

Every deepest longing we ever had can be found in the person of Jesus Christ. He is able to fulfill our every expectation, our every hope, because He is a living hope. You can buy everything under the sun, but if you don’t have Christ, you don’t have Christmas.

It doesn’t have to matter if we never got that red bicycle, if we have Christ, we have it all. So I am going to celebrate with gusto and lift my voice along with the angels…..

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

And each and every day, He is born in our hearts anew……

And a very Happy Birthday today to my niece from her Auntie Lori! Ten years ago today you were born and worked your magic on all our hearts. I hope you enjoy your box of purple gifts!  I love you and miss you.

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