This is the second year that our family has incorporated Adorenaments into our Christmas Tradition. Adorenaments are ornaments with pictures of the names of Jesus. There are 12, and each of the 12 days before Christmas we hang an ornament and read a little about that particular name of Jesus. It's a good tradition. The kids like to fight about who's turn it is to hang the ornament, and it does shift our focus away from present and to the Christ in Christmas.
Yesterday, Bub hung an ornament with a picture of a door on our Charlie Brown Tree. Jesus is the Door...He is our Way to the Father and no one comes to God except through Christ. The book that accompanies our Adorenaments pointed out that the shepherds of Jesus' day would herd the sheep into a fold each night and lie across the opening. They would become a literal door, and would protect their flock against wild animals and enemies.
I love that image of safety.
I am of the school of thought that locking ones doors is just an illusion of safety. All it does is keep the good people out. Legitimate bad guys are not deterred by a $50 Home Depot lock. But Jesus as my door seems like a legitimate defense. Real safety.
Given my cynical nature about security you'd think that safety wasn't a big deal to me. But you'd be wrong. Safety is a big deal. In fact, it's one of the reasons I fell in love with my husband. I know it's supposed to be more romantic than that. But, in the end, security is one of the things that drew me to him.
When I met my husband I was working and going to school at CU. At that time there had been a number of rapes on campus...of the "jump out of the bushes and grab you" variety. This had women on edge. I was used to carrying pepper spray and a whistle and going places with a buddy. But sometimes I did walk across campus in the dark, by myself. It was scary.
Eddie always hated that I did that.
I liked that he hated it.
He always had me call when I got home so he knew I'd gotten there safely. He walked me to my car. He opened doors for me. He put oil in my car when I, ah, couldn't figure out what all the banging in my engine was about. (Apparently, pistons make that noise when there is almost no oil in the engine). He showed up early. He followed through with commitments. He walked on the street side of the sidewalk. He was trustworthy. He was safe. Still is; and I love him for it.
I think I love Jesus because he's safe too. When, as they say, " the fit hits the shan" (and it invariably does) Jesus is the same. He is mighty to save. He is victorious, and good. And when the temporal just sucks I know that there is an eternity that is different. And it began with a baby in a manger. But I think, this Christmas, it is important to remember that baby Jesus , meek and mild is not the only image we need to have of the Christ.
He is the door. Strong. Mighty. And a sure defense.