December 18, 2012

“If you then, though you are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!” –Matthew 7:11

Like many of you, my wife and I are getting ready for Christmas. The menu, the plans, the family, the joy. But at the Peña home, things are different. Why? Well, we’re actually…home. See, for the first time in my life, I won’t be traveling to Mom and Dad’s. Guess what…they’re coming here. It’s Christmas in L.A. For 40 years, I opened presents under Mom’s tree. But because of my health and the infirmity I endured over the last 12 months, Mom and Dad knew I couldn’t get to them. So they did the unexpected. They’re coming here.


Now, to the casual reader, that might not seem like much. But if you knew my Memphis-born, Southern hospitality-dipped, tradition-rich mother, you would know that her leaving home is an act of love — pure, unabashed, selfless love. Her kids are stuck, and nothing is gonna stop her from seeing them.

Two thousand years ago, God made an unexpected trip. Because we were unable to get to Him, He came to us. God left Heaven’s hall for Bethlehem’s stall. He then climbed out of his crib and onto the cross for your sins and mine. Imagine, God with us. Say that out loud and emphasize with me. God with us. God with us. God with us. Amazing, isn’t it? The distance He traveled for you and me. I love Christmas time. The traditions, old and new. But something about Christmas will never change, and that’s the story of our Savior.

So Jesus, we know the story, but tell us again. Show us the pride in Joseph’s eyes, the awe on a shepherd’s face, and the courage of Mary. We know the story, but take us back. Remind us that your birth began a rescue mission. We know the story, but please Jesus, we love it. Be born again.

–Jimmy Peña