Happy Birthday!!!

I’m so happy and grateful to see another birthday. I just love birthdays. I love the joy of living. I love the joy of acknowledging the grace of God. I love the gathering to celebrate. I love the cake and the candles. I love the gifts and gags. I just love birthdays.
For those few minutes even this introvert soul loves being the center of attention.
And I’m blessed to see another birthday.
Not mine. It’s not my birthday, you know. It’s the universal celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, savior of those who choose him. I’m sure he was born during some other season, but the point is, this is the day designated for this celebration and I’m not going to waste a minute of it.
Jesus. I love Jesus. You know Black women know Jesus better than others. Seriously! You know our grandmothers and great grandmothers talked about Jesus as if they had tea with him every day. Actually some of the ones I know did just that. They talked to him each morning, before or at breakfast tea. They told him about their troubles and trials. They thanked him for healing their bodies and minds. They thanked him for the trials he’d gotten them through. Sometimes they talked. Sometimes they hummed. Sometimes they just groaned.
But it was clear between the two of them.
And the reason I claim this peculiar familiarity for my own is that professors of other persuasions have told many of us seminary students of their shock at what they encountered when they taught African Americans or became their pastors. They vicariously experienced a familiarity that was new to them.
Jesus really is all the world to people who have experienced oppression on any level and the availability of his sweet presence endears him to the hearts of those who embraced him fully.
So Jesus’ birthday takes on a special meaning beyond the purchasing of gifts for everyone we know. It means much more than the pies and cakes we bake. It means so much more than the family gatherings that remind us how precious our connections are to us.
Jesus’ birthday reminds us that his father loved us so much that he gave himself for our redemption and salvation.
And it all started with the little babe in the manger who was born in some town on some date so all who would could walk in the way that would bring peace to the whole world. From the one to the many.
Merry Christmas! Happy Birthday Jesus!

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