2 years. Two very eventful years. The first was the worst I have ever had to endure. The second? One that has changed everything about me. Two years ago you were doing things that only God could see and thinking thoughts that only He took to heart. It was quiet and cold and I was sitting ignorant...as I usually am. I wouldn't have any idea you had gone until the morning when people missed you. So what happens two years later after the family Christmas festivities have ended and the kids and wife are all in bed? This happens. I write about you...my big brother, whom I love. Whom I miss so much. Whom I have outlived.
Christmas has always been my favorite holiday and that hasn't changed, no matter how hard I have tried to hate every twinkling light. The celebration of the birth of Christ is just too important to be overshadowed by the anniversary of an enormous enemy victory. It was because of Him and His birth in the very place that the cattle eat and sleep that gives me assurance that you are happy in Heaven right now...because nothing is bigger than the cross, and you believed. This year nothing has fallen from the sky. Oddly enough, two years ago, it was rain all day. There are no parades for you. No one is lighting a candle for you at your house. The world is as it has always been...a very loved by God and sometimes terrible place to be. I am not gonna dwell on the terrible things this year. Last year, those things reigned in my life and made me punish myself endlessly. There is nothing good that can come from blaming yourself for another's actions. So I will focus on my God.
This God. This Beast from Bethlehem. This divider of families and friends. This giver and taker of life. This Savior of all. It all belongs to Him. This day. These wrapped gifts. These moments of happiness with our families. Even these tears we shed over who isn't there with us this year. It is His. He paid for it. He was born in humility and died in agony, but raised in all the splendor of God and clothed in absolute majesty.
This huge God also found His way to weave himself into the very fabric of our lives. He is the tissue that holds the entire universe together. Today we celebrate the day He was born in a barn in the filth of animals. It is because of the loss of my brother that I celebrate today. It is because of Jesus that I can lay my head down and sleep in peace, knowing that my brother has lights strung all over his home in Heaven. I believe he has an ornament of our lives hanging on his tree. I believe tonight he is looking at his mother's dangling ornament. His father's, His children's, His sister's, his brother's, and even mine. His tree is perfect and his lights never go out. Christmas is not a source of pain for him anymore and it shouldn't be for us either. Christmas is about Jesus. His birth into the world to save it.
May God rip away all that holds your face in the cold ground this day. May He lift you up out of the guts of hell and seat you right next to Him in His glory. May we remember His love and love those equally around us.
Thanks for reading...Z