Happy Birthday Jesus - 1598

Christmas is the time that was set aside to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. In the world today the celebration has changed its focus. The true Christmas is not about the trees, presents to one another nor the yule tide carols. Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ, Son of God, who came to earth to offer the Way of salvation to God, the Truth to walk in, and eternal Life for all men. Jo 14:6.
Biblical scholars do not know the time of Jesus’ birth because early Christians left no record of His birth-date. There are hints that point to a season, but no exact date of His birth. There is no mention of December 25th before the fourth century. Pope Julius I. (A.D. 337-352) designated December 25 as the proper day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and the custom has spread throughout the earth as the day to say Happy Birthday to Jesus among the churches. The world picked up the celebration and changed the focus to Santa Claus and presents. .
We have many adopted children and none of them know the exact date of their birth, some don’t even know their true year that they were born. Never the less we celebrate the date that was assigned to them in their orphanage as their birthday. If we did not celebrate their birthday because of the fact that it is not their true birth-date, we would miss an opportunity to bless them. Some Christians have decided not to celebrate for the reason of it not being the real birthday and have missed a great opportunity to bless Jesus with their gifts.
You know I love the way that God always breaks out of the boxes we create for Him. When we think we have Him figured out He does something that doesn’t fit in with our theology or thinking. There is a true miracle story that happened in 1997 in the state of Wisconsin. Now I don’t believe is Santa Claus and he is not included in our Christmas celebration, but God used a hired Santa in this miracle.
“A little boy and his grandmother came to see Santa at The Mayfair Mall in Wisconsin. The child climbed up on Santa lap, holding a picture of a little girl.” The little girl was his sister who was dying of Leukemia in a nearby hospital. He asked Santa to go and see his sister in the hospital and pray for her. Being a Christian that Santa went and laid hands on little Sarah as he prayed for her healing.
The next year a at the same mall where Sarah’s brother make his request to Santa a little girl came to see Santa. She said, “Hi, Santa! Remember me?” “You came to see me in the hospital last year!” He saw Sarah’s grandmother smiling as she wiped away her tears of joy. Sarah was healed! “She had been pronounced Cancer-free and was alive and well. Santa “ looked up to Heaven and humbly whispered, “Thank you, Father. ‘Tis a very, Merry Christmas!”
Some Christians get so hung up in not celebrating Christmas because of it not being His true birth date that they miss the whole purpose of the day. Many years ago we were in the Shepherding Movement. The shepherd over us declared that we could not celebrate Christmas because it was not the true birth-date of Jesus and that there was a pagan holiday that actually was celebrated many centuries ago on that date. One lone Scripture was picked out to back up not decorating a Christmas tree. We later found out that shepherd didn’t see any point in celebrating Christmas and His family had suffered through the holidays for many years even before him becoming a Christian.
We spent the most miserable holiday season of our lives during those three years. Our children were greatly affected and no one around us was touched during the holiday season. It was a waste of value time and added nothing to the Kingdom of God.
When many hearts are turned to thinking about Jesus during the Christmas season even in the midst of commercialism lives are touched. The laborers in God’s harvest field have extra opportunities during this time because of the prayers of the saints. It as a great opportunity to touch many lives for Jesus.
As we celebrate the birthday of Jesus it is only natural that we should give the One whose birthday we are celebrating gifts. Searching the Bible we found many gifts that Jesus would like to receive from us. Somehow I don’t think He is interested in the birthday cake that we will eat, but He is blessed by what we do for others and how we touch their lives. In the Bible it says that whatever we do to the least of them among us we do unto Jesus. Mt 25:42-45. Giving to those who are in need of food and clothing are among the gifts to Him. There are many among us who are in need of food and clothes this Christmas. When we care for the sick with His love and compassion those acts are a gift to Jesus. This is a principle of God in action. When your children are touched you are touched and blessed. With God it is like that, when we touch His children, He is touched and receives it as a gift from us.
We have experienced a touch of Jesus through others as we are walking in the last days of our son’s journey with ALS. I cannot tell you how much kind words at just the right moment have meant to me personally as we continue through this difficult journey. It has meant so much to us when others have come to pray for our son Nathan and to take the time to visit him. Those who have brought food dishes and in so many ways have touched all our lives with the touch of Jesus. It has been like Jesus touching and encouraging us.
There are many folks in nursing homes who never have a visitor. A wonderful gift to Jesus is to visit a nursing home and touch a soul. When we visit the sick and those in prison Jesus is visited. When we adopt children who are in great need of love and care we have touched and blessed the heart of God. Isa 58:7. And I can tell you the you will be blessed by God. This Christmas we hope to final little Samuel’s adoption.
Last March we received a call from a family who were disrupting their adoption. I had been trying to help them find a qualified family for their little four-year old adopted son from South Korea. We thought that we found the right family and all the legal matters were taken care of when they flew into Seattle with little Samuel. On the way from the airport to the lawyers office the other family text-ed them and said that they had changed their minds and would not adopt Samuel. The family called us in desperation and asked if we would give Samuel respite care until they could decide what to do next. We are set up to do with my organization New Hope For Adopted International Kids so Samuel came our home that evening.
As months passed Samuel grew into all our hearts and it became hard to think about him going to another family. The end of April his family called and said they would proceed with him going to another family and that they really only wanted our family to be the one for Samuel. God had already prepared our hearts, even at our ages, to love and nurture little Samuel. My husband Ralph said, “He is Samuel so who does that make me? “ I said, “Eli”. Eli was the old priest in the Bible that Hannah brought Samuel to. We laughed.
Some of you know the story about my hair. After our third adoption from China I made a promise to God that I would love and care for every child He brought to me as our own. Our deal was that this would happen before my hair turned gray. I thought I was safe in that promise as my hair was already turning gray. Well, my hair has almost turned gray 11 times and back to auburn since that promise and we have adopted 14 children. And my hair has still not turned gray! Perhaps after Samuel’s adoption is final-ed it will turn. God and I have laughed many times over this matter. I love His humor and Ways. Loving little Samuel as unto the Lord is my gift to Jesus this Christmas and I am blessed with the sweetest gooey kisses along with “I love you mama.”
Around our kitchen table a few days ago we were discussing what gifts we wanted to give to Jesus this year. I made flash cards describing gifts to give Jesus as we celebrate His birthday. Each family member picked one that they felt they would like to give Jesus. A few examples are: visit a sick person, say something kind to someone who looks like they are struggling, touch a person who is mourning the loss of a loved one with a special note. This is what Christmas is really all about, touching others and loving on Jesus. This is the birthday celebration that brings a smile to His face.