In a very small town surrounded by mountains, my family was always busy at Christmas. I remember going with my mom and aunt to the little protestant chapel to worship and sing. My Aunt with her strong alto voice, trained for years of leading worship without a microphone, will rise with passion as we sing the traditional carols. From her I learned that singing was never about having a pretty voice or knowing music. For her it was always about showing God our love and gratitude.

Right across the street was my grandma’s house, a small yellow wood house with a garden in the back. Granma Margot loved her flowers, so did my father and so do I. Gardening is one of those things I learned as I followed her checking every plant, one by one, learning their names, checking for slugs, removing old leaves. Even today when I walk through gardens I check every plant, calling out their names or learning new names for plants I never had in my country.

One Christmas night I was by myself as all the adults were busy cooking or fixing things. As I looked to the mountains, I began to sing Silent Night. A little shy at first, quickly I forgot where I was and began to sing like my aunt, just wanting to praise God and remember the old story through the words so well known. I felt the presence of God surrounding me in love, it felt so real, all my fears were gone.

Since that night, I promised to always take some time to search for his presence amid all the rush of the season, just to experience his loving embrace that fills my heart with joy. Sometimes I experience him by myself, or during worship, or celebrating with friends. The best times are when I am with my girls singing the old Spanish carols and retelling the old story again. Christmas is always about love! For God so loved the world!

Always About Love
By Rev. Ileana Rosario