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Posts Tagged ‘Memoir’

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(This is an excerpt from my memoir, A Jamaican’s Journey to Time and Patience)

After the months of studying for the O Levels and the intense days sitting for the exam, it was a relief to finish the last section of the exam and finally go on Christmas break to await the results in the spring. I got a two-week job in the shoe department of one of the major retail stores on King Street, but instead of repeating the Christmas Eve parade celebration down King Street as I had done the previous year, I chose to go caroling with some friends from Constant Spring Church. One of the young men in the church mounted a loud speaker on top of his station wagon and a number of us piled into the station wagon and drove around Kingston singing Christmas carols.

This was my first Christmas as a new Christian, and it took on a whole new meaning. For the first time, through redeemed eyes, heart, and mind, I began to see and understand what Christmas was all about!

It was not about Santa Claus, shopping, presents, or parties.

It was about the love of God for a lost humanity of which I was a part.

It was about a God who, even before he created the universe, planned it that, at the appropriate time, he would visit us in the form of a human baby who would grow up to reveal the true nature of God, and save us from sin’s destruction.

It was about a poor, frightened teenage girl who was visited by an angel and given the news that she was chosen by God to bear the child who would become the Savior of the world.

It was about dirty, smelly shepherds who, though ignored and despised by their society, were favored by God to be the first to hear heavenly choirs announce the birth of the Christ Child.

It was about three wise men who understood the significance of that baby and brought gifts to commemorate his birth and his future ministry and sacrificial death.

It was about God’s grace, mercy, kindness, and overwhelming love and generosity to me–and every person who lived or will live–in offering us salvation and eternal life.

And so, at eighteen, from the perspective of one who was redeemed from sin and blessed with eternal life, for the first time I understood and celebrated the true meaning of Christmas.

And celebrate it I did–with joyful music, carols, worship, and sweet fellowship with fellow believers.

That Christmas Eve of my eighteenth year found me reveling–not on King Street with the wild, bacchanal masses but–with a group of young Christians driving through the streets, avenues, and lanes of Kingston singing Christmas carols.

Though I had heard many of those carols before, singing them that Christmas Eve night throughout Kingston brought new meaning, significance, and appreciation for their words and tunes.

There would be many more Christmases to come over the decades, but this was the year and the Christmas in which I first fell deeply in love with the Christ Child who became my Lord and who was to shape my life from that point on.

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