As I wrote previously, I love Christmas; just about everything about it. I don’t want it to end. I’m glad we still have some days left!
This year, I’ve been reading and following Advent for the first time. Advent means coming; Jesus coming. A beautiful new book “The Greatest Gift” by Ann Voskamp came out the end of November about Advent and she has written a short reading for each day of December. It has been so thought provoking.
This is the 3rd week of Advent. Each week has a particular focus; the first week is Hope, the second week is Peace and this week is Joy. It has been good to stop and ponder each week’s promise and spend some time there. Why I needed Hope so much this year, why I sometimes lack Peace and why I sometimes lack Joy. Once I get my eyes back on Jesus I have enough of all of those three.
But just to prove how totally superficial I can be at times, I have a confession to make. I really like all the outward manifestations of Christmas; the lights, candles, presents, music, decorations, cookies, parties. (What I don’t like is the shopping or the traffic, and I’m starting to get a bit tired of the music). But the rest, I’m totally into. What I have found though is that since I have been trying to make Christmas more about Christ all this month, I found resistance in my heart to that part of it. The spiritual part seemed too heavy; oppressive. There…..I confessed it….now you know I am truly a terrible Christian!
Obviously, I am looking at it all wrong. There is nothing heavy about a baby being born; the baby is precious. The promises about this Baby are precious. His birth changed everything for the better for all time. Angels sang and rejoiced. Nothing heavy about that. Otherworldly, yes; heavy, no.
I’ve struggled to make this old, old story that I’ve heard about all my life, new, fresh and most importantly, meaningful and relevant to me today in my life, here and now. In the mundane as well as in the exciting times. But I know that come Christmas Eve when I attend the Christmas Eve service at my church, it will all fall into place just as it should. I will be joyful and thankful and totally full of Christmas in the best way possible. What is it about that service that will accomplish that? Simply being together corporately, singing Christmas carols, hearing a Christmas message, seeing all the people packed into the sanctuary, seeing how happy everyone is to be together. The anticipation of the evening, the night, the next day. To pray together, to be together, to worship together. Christmas is magical and it should be. I have alot of time to make up for since celebrating Christmas wasn’t allowed for most of my life. I will fully be present in every moment of it every year. I truly want to experience Christmas throughout the entire month of December and not just wait until Christmas Eve; every year it will get clearer and clearer. I believe that with all my heart.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!