There seems no end to the rush- from Thanksgiving, to Christmas, on into New Year’s. I’ve become a bit of a Grinch this season with the avalanche of activities, filled with HIGH expectations. Christmas is the one time of year where nostalgia perfection rules. We want to “remember what it was like when we were kids” and create those kind of memories for our children too.
Maybe because we just moved the first week in December, Christmas has felt more like a to-do list on top of the normal day to day things, and oh, did I mention we just moved?! Let me just hibernate like the bears do and emerge come spring?
Even though the busy pace has threatened to undo me, God is lately at work tilling my heart.
I don’t want to miss the wonder of Christ’s birth.
Heaven met earth in a stable suited for farm animals, witnessed by only Mary and Joseph, then shepherds, and later on the wise men. Christ came without excessive decorum, but as a baby, the most helpless and vulnerable a human can be.
I pray to not get lost in the frenzied swirl of distractions or my own pessimism.
Because honestly, Jesus never asked us to wrap 1,499,586 presents this season, or send Christmas cards with a picture of your family to every. single. person you’ve ever met, or attempt that cake from Joanna Gaines’ cookbook because it looks “Christmas-ey”.
All we’re asked to do is receive Him- the Greatest Gift.
It’s hard for us to be on the receiving end of things sometimes. In a self-reliant, self-made, autonomous modern Western world, we have to do something before we get, right?
God’s economy doesn’t operate that way. We don’t have to perform or earn anything. It’s not a rewards system like in kindergarten.
It’s all grace.
Does it mean we can’t be light-hearted and enjoy fun things during the season? Of course we can. We should celebrate, especially as Christians! But it does mean that we are free from having to tie one more ribbon or buy one more gift for the sake of a “perfect” Christmas.
You do not have to perform to be loved by Jesus.
Yes, there may be pies to bake, rooms to clean, and even a few presents to wrap. But how we view Christmas is what matters in the hustle of the holidays. We can posture our hearts to worship knowing that we already belong in God’s family, no matter if the ham burns or you forgot to send a Christmas card to Aunt Martha, or that hard to buy for person hates what you got them.
Whether you’re familiar with the loud and busy of Christmas bustle or tucked away lonely, wishing you had someone to buy a present for, remember that Christ came for you too.
Jesus is the Greatest Gift we can have (and all we truly need or want) not just this Christmas, but every Christmas, and every day. One day we’ll see the Son of God who risked everything to save us from ourselves. He’s the Only One who can satisfy our cracked hearts, not things or experiences. When see Him face to face, that will be the best Christmas of all.
Grace upon grace,