My mom was the queen at Christmas! She had our entire house decorated, baked a million delicate Christmas cookies, and usually made a Christmas dress for not only my sister and I, but also herself. Seriously, she was the Christmas Champion!!
But it’s been almost 15 years since I had a Christmas with her, and the older I get the more I realize all she did to make Christmas so special for anyone and everyone around her. For years I didn’t let myself have a special Christmas for fear of being let down and disappointed because it wouldn’t be the same without my mom.
About a month ago, a memory popped into my head (which, if you know me, is pretty amazing since I can’t remember very many memories without some sort of prompting). I remember laying on my parent’s bed, and my mom was reading her favorite Christmas book to my sister and I – The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. I really don’t want to give away much of the book, because if you haven’t heard of it or read it before you need to THIS CHRISTMAS!
But there is one part that I just have to share. And all you have to know is that Imogene is playing Mary, the mother of Jesus, and holding the baby while everyone is singing “Silent Night”:
“Everyone had been waiting all this time for the Herdmans to do something absolutely unexpected. And sure enough, that was what happened.
My mom would cry every single time she came to this point. As a kid I would say something like, “Mom! You know it’s coming and you still cry!” But it wasn't until I was older that I began to realize the beauty in this moment with Imogene. Imogene realized, as my mom picked up, what Christmas was about. Seeing this baby, Jesus, and what He came to do for us all. It wasn't just all that Mary and Joseph went through to get to the point of shepherds coming to worship a baby, but all the glory surrounding the Prince of Peace and the REAL Christmas Champion.
Now, my eyes get a little moist just thinking back to the story, and the thought of my mom shedding tears of joy – because now I understand more clearly. It makes me go back to when I was that “awful old Imogene” realizing Who Jesus was for the first time, and I, too, cried and cried and cried – without bothering to wipe them away.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you so much for coming! Thank you for the beauty You brought through the complicated circumstances surrounding your birth. Thank you for choosing shepherds and “Herdsmans” to come worship you at your manger. Thank you for coming to make people like me and Imogene into your child! Thank you for being the Ultimate Christmas Champion!!
Leah works with Master Plan Ministries at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Other than watching college students' lives change, she enjoys getting her mind blown by God and His Word, watching sci fi, baking cupcakes, and spending time with her hunky husband.