last night at midnight, fireworks lit up the guatemala sky. (if you haven't seen this before, it is simply breathtaking. imagine practically every home in guatemala lighting fireworks... then imagine the view from our academy in the mountains, which overlooks all of guatemala city and the surrounding areas!)
we had quite the fireworks show ourselves here at bvsa. after our annual viewing of Elf, the younger Rhinos ran around our property lighting firecrackers, sparklers, and bottle rockets. then, at 12:00am, we lit up the sky for all of the village to enjoy. afterwards, i was struck by a similar thought that i've had every christmas since living here. that here we are in a tiny little third-world country in central america, where, because of the birth of Jesus Christ, the whole country explodes into a light show - 2,000 plus years later.
on a larger scale, practically the entire world celebrates, pauses, or at a minimum takes notice, of the birth of Jesus Christ. some 2.5 billion believe He came as God to save us. others think its nonsense. some even go out of their way to kill His followers. as i write this, i'm in guatemala watching country music singers sing songs like "come let us adore him" and "what child is this" on ABC. even in the liberal day and age we're in, you couldn't avoid hearing about jesus (at least in western civilization) if you tried.
without question, Jesus is the most polarizing person to have ever lived.
he was 2000 years ago, and he still is today.
for some of us, he's worth living and dying for. we believe in eternal salvation, therefore we give up our earthly lives for the sake of others - for his glory - knowing that eternity awaits.
but there are still many who don't know him, haven't heard of him, or haven't experienced his love. therefore, we leave our comforts and families, we go to foreign places and learn
new languages, we celebrate holidays alone, we leave careers and worldly dreams behind, we look stupid in the eyes of many, and we welcome laughs and
criticism... so that others who are physically and spiritually suffering can KNOW HIM... and have the joy and peace that we have. it's just to good to keep to ourselves.
today we celebrate the birth of Jesus. it was a joy to watch my kids today. especially my 3 year old luciana, who is still innocent towards the whole idea of "receiving gifts" on christmas. for her, today was Jesus' birthday. nothing else. and she loved every minute of it. there was a constant singing of "feliz cumpleanos a jesus" in our house all day long...
we're planning on giving some gifts (and opening those that people gave) on new years day this year. we typically do christmas gifts and have no problem with it at all, so long as it stays simple. but we're trying a new idea this year so that christmas day could have no other focus. especially for luci. its hard for a 3yr old to celebrate Jesus' birthday when you have your own pile of gifts to focus on!
anyway... sorry for the christmas ramble.
how crazy is it that the prophet Isaiah wrote this about 700 years before the birth of Jesus!
7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will
be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. 9:6 ...For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the
government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.