Over the last few weeks while making gifts, addressing cards, or snuggling Husband, I’ve had the chance to watch a few Christmas movies. I’ve read numerous Facebook statuses, scrolled past many a Pinterest images, and heard several passing phrases about the “meaning of Christmas.”
Most of us Christians would emphatically say “Christmas is all about Jesus…” but I fear that many of us (myself included) have bought into the lie that Christmas is about being with our family & friends, celebrating our blessings in life, and getting the happy ending.
Every Christmas movie ended with the characters finding the “true meaning” of Christmas… you know by riding off into the sunset with the love of their life, making peace with that begrudged family member, or accepting that work and money really aren’t the most important things in life. It’s even picked up a notch when the person at the end has a heart change about giving, decides to turn their life around, or better yet finds true “faith” in Santa!… Does this sound familiar to anyone else?
Now am I saying that some of my favorite parts about Christmas don’t involve these things? Absolutely not.
I love the traditions, the family time, the companionship that all only come with Silver Bells playing in the background like a Hallmark film.
I believe it’s a great time to count your blessings and make peace in unresolved conflict.
I drool over the classic story of someone becoming more selfless or turning their life back to the Lord in this season of Christ.
I would jump for joy if this week could actually bring a “Christmas miracle” with the news of a baby on the way for us.
But life is not a Hallmark film. And as much as family and friends and loving and giving and forgiving and happy endings are important and great… they are NOT the meaning of Christmas. They are not the “reason for the season.” The can be the overflow of the focus …. but not the focus.
I’m saying this for myself folks. Because I need to hear it.
It’s easy to get so caught up in enjoying Christmas that we forget to live Christmas. (guilty)
It’s easy to get so caught up loving on family & friends that we forget to love on Jesus. (guilty)
It’s easy to get so caught up singing “Oh come let us adore Him” that we forget to truly come & adore Him.
This is the sad part… when I’m focusing on enjoying every second of Christmas,
giving the perfect gifts, and filling my stereo with joyous carols, I get miserable. I get stressed and sad that “it’s going to fast.” I start wondering if I’ve enjoyed it enough, soaked up it enough.
But when I focus on Christ… oh the joy.
I can enjoy without stressing.
I can give without worrying.
I can sing without sighing.
When I focus on Christ I find this joy has NOTHING to do with me & EVERYTHING to do with me all at the same time.
It’s not about me living up the moments or making sure my friends & family know my love for them. It’s not about me having the “best Christmas ever” or even getting my Christmas miracle.
It’s so about me. It’s about God loving ME (yes ME!) and YOU (yes YOU!) so stinking much that He would send His most precious gift. That He would make me feel loved & cared for & saved! That He would offer me redemption, reconciliation and THE Christmas Miracle… JESUS.
So these next few days are going to be BUSY! They’re going to be filled with presents and reunions and yummy food. They are going to be filled with sharing love, giving ourselves, and counting blessings.
In the midst of all that, I don’t want to miss it… I don’t want to miss Him…I don’t want to miss my Christmas Miracle.
And I don’t want my family and friends to miss it. I want them to look at me and see Him beaming. I want them to feel my love and know it has an unusually beautiful Source.
A Source that doesn’t demand perfection, but offers grace.
A Source that doesn’t withhold love, but gives it freely.
A Source that doesn’t sprinkle dashes of forgiveness, but can provide total redemption.
A Source that doesn’t have limited resources, but owns the cattle on a thousand hills.
A Source that doesn’t just orchestrate Christmas Miracles, but is THE Christmas Miracle.
What about you? Do you struggle with this too? Will this year be different?