18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. When Mary his mother was engaged to Joseph, before they were married, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph her husband was a righteous man. Because he didn’t want to humiliate her, he decided to call off their engagement quietly. 20 As he was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child she carries was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you will call him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 Now all of this took place so that what the Lord had spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled:
23 Look! A virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son,
And they will call him, Emmanuel.
(Emmanuel means “God with us.”)
24 When Joseph woke up, he did just as an angel from God commanded and took Mary as his wife. 25 But he didn’t have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. Joseph called him Jesus.
-Rev Melissa Fain-
Media completely messed up my child-like definition of love.
First offender: Disney. I learned through The Little Mermaid that true love is only a couple of sunsets away, and a family trying to keep you safe is the opposite of love. Now, don't get be wrong, I still belt Ariel songs in the shower, but I no longer take life lessons from a fish.
Second offender: Adults. Yeah, I grew up during that weird purity phenomenon. I wasn't pushed into the actual purity culture. Our family wasn't evangelical, so it really wasn't being used in our churches, but it still made an impact on me. The result was actually worse. A bunch of nothing. There was this strange fear of adults to talk to their children about S.E.X. I mean, I understand where it was coming from. I have kids now, and I wonder how that conversation is going to go, and I'm worried I'll wait too late to give it, but I don't want it to happen too early.
Third offender: Media in general. This one was deceptive, because it was so subversive! Media knows the general person wants to be loved. Scrooge be darned, even the biggest humbug wants to find a lasting relationship. Therefore, media pushed their products through the lens of love. (Or finding lasting relationship to be more subtle.)
"You look like a flat slob, take this pill to lose a few pounds and that special someone will notice you."
"You smell like you've been living with seals. Here, squirt this on you and you will smell attractive."
"This specific product will give you the thing you love the most: [insert want here.]"
It made love look like this big candy machine. If we just push the right buttons it's ours. No questions asked. Easy Peasey.
Wrong. Obtaining love and keeping love will always be, without question, work. There are no easy ways to love. Even parents, that seem born with that inate compassion for their child, work at the relationship. Real love seems to come with blood sweat and tears. Oh, wait, there's a bible verse for that. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son..." [John 3:16a]
Christmas is the worst tool marketers use to manipulate consumers into buying fake love. Don't buy it. The real story of Christmas is all about the beginning of a love story that took tons of work and preparation. So when December 25th rolls around, and you are watching for that magic look of glee as that special someone opens that present you waited up to an hour in line to buy, remember that's not important. It's the relationshp and the work you do to mantaining the other 364 days that are important. Sit back and realize the greatest gift was given over 2,000 years ago in an animal barn. It all began with a mother holding her child, a child that would change the world.
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Only a 1/2 hour long. Starts at 11pm EST.
Besides that, have a very Merry Christmas! May Christ's light shine on your holiday and light in your heart!