Is it? Do you feel like it’s the most wonderful time of the year? I don’t. I feel like it is the most squished time of the year. I believe that Christmas is important. Celebrating Jesus and His birth is of highest value. However, that isn’t what is being celebrated. I know everyone talks about commercialism and finding the real reason for the season. I know and live daily the real reason for the season. We celebrate Jesus all year because He is our life and our Savior. Hang with me in this next comment – I don’t think it’s realistic for our family to truly celebrate Jesus during this season.
Don’t misunderstand me, He is a part of our celebration but He isn’t the reason. The reason for most families to celebrate each season is, family. Family expectations, traditions, and taking time to hang out with each other. Jesus is a part of us so He is a part of all we do. When we go see Christmas lights, we count manger scenes (26 this year). When we eat our meal with family, we pray before we eat (not the norm for our extended family). I feel so much pressure this year to be spiritual leader, Santa, baker of Christmas cookies, top chef for dinner and full of joy during the entire experience. The expectations on each of us at the holidays need to be managed but sometimes they just need to be done too.
I said above that it isn’t realistic for us to truly celebrate Jesus during this season. It’s too busy to do more than just add Him in. You see if I were going to truly celebrate Jesus and His birth, I wouldn’t add it in-between opening gifts and making stuffing. I would fill the crock pot with something yummy to simmer all day after eating a bowl of cereal for breakfast. I would sit at the base of our Christmas tree (some traditions are necessary) and read the story of Jesus’ birth from Luke. I would ask one of my kids to play Christmas songs about Jesus’ story and we would sing. We would worship Him beneath the star on the tree. I would ask each child to share a dream they want to come true and we would bring it to Jesus. We would pray for God’s plans to be revealed for us and through us. I would reflect on the year and the many blessings we received. I would teach my children that loving Jesus is 24/7. During Christmas, we demonstrate that love with others by doing the traditions, eating the bad fruit cake (has anyone honestly ever eaten fruit cake? – not me), and attending events that are important to others. We can do this because Jesus is living through us. God uses this opportunity to show His love to our extended family who may not know Him yet or has forgotten how great Jesus is.
I am overwhelmed with the week ahead of me. I am savoring this moment to sit in my quiet home at 5:30 a.m. and write this to you. I am excited to work on my daily Bible Study when I finish. I look forward to hearing my son praise the Lord in song when he sings at church this morning. I will fill my mornings with Jesus. I will pour Him out the rest of the day. Tomorrow it will start all over.
I’m rethinking this. Maybe it is the most wonderful time of the year. It is the time when I savor Jesus more because I see how many are missing out on Him. It’s the time when I rely on Him to fill me so I can tackle the expectations of the season. Even if He is often overshadowed by twinkling lights and ugly Christmas sweaters, He reigns in me. I feel it more prounounced during Christmas. The contrast is good for me to see.
This Christmas, savor our Savior. “For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him will have everlasting life.” John 3:16
P.S. A picture of cookbooks I cleared out and plan to donate. I have honored my commitment. It has been good to purge. I’ll try to write once more before 2015. Wait until you see what is in store for next year.