Christmas Time (Esther Baik)

estherbaikfamily.jpg

Christmas is my favorite time of the year--the smell of winter spices makes me feel very warm inside. I have so many memories of Christmas. But my favorite one is when I was a little girl about four or five years old. On Christmas eve, my mom and I would go to church where I would participate in a Christmas performance. That year, I remembered wearing a white gown and wearing a halo on my head. We were dressed up as angels and we sang “Silent Night” on the stage. I remember checking to see where my mom was sitting, making sure she was watching me perform. After the performance and the service, my mom and I would walk home in the snow. It was so cold that you could see icicles on some apartment buildings. When we got home, I washed up, got dressed in my pajamas and that’s when the fun began. I would get to stay up late to watch “Frosty the Snowman” that my mom had recorded earlier and eat my favorite snacks.

Looking back now, I realized how blessed I was to grow up in a Christian home and to be exposed to the gospel at an early age. My mom’s love for me was great but I know now that it was just a mere reflection of how much our Heavenly Father loves us. While I loved Christmas as a youth, as I grew older and more mature in my faith, the meaning of Christmas changed for the better. The meaning continues to become deeper and more significant with the realization that our savior was born that day, in a not-so-silent night but in a cold, dark, and noisy manger.  A savior was born who would come to live the perfect life and die the perfect death, sacrificing himself for our sins so that those who believe in Him would have all our sins forgiven and have Him for eternity. Oh, what great news that is!

I will always cherish the memories of my childhood years during Christmas but it now pales in comparison to the deeper joy that is only found in a relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. The childhood memories were just a sign of the things to come in my adult years as I have grown in my relationship with Christ. But in turn God’s present grace is also a sign, a sign of things to come in heaven in our eternal relationship with Him.

I still enjoy staying up late in my pajamas and eating my favorite snacks but now watching Korean videos instead of Frosty the Snowman. And I have the great privilege now of enjoying watching my own four-year-old son perform during Christmas at church as he jumps for joy during this time of year. I only hope that he would soon also experience the true and deeper joy that can only be found in our Lord, Jesus Christ.