Instead of a Pinterest Christmas…
Give me Jesus.
My oldest is counting down until Christmas. It seems like every hour of every day.
“How much longer??” he begs to know, and I repeat it’s one less day than the day before or it’s still as far away as it was this morning. It’s prime time for teaching the calendar, because he can’t wait to mark it off.
I listen to Nat King Cole sing about chestnuts roasting on the fire, in that same dreamy voice that sang to me during car rides when I was my boy’s age. And it’s as if time slows down, and I’m in that childhood back seat, empty of stress and busy-ness, but full of wonder.
I take a quick glance in the rear view, and I know those little faces I see will change in a blink like ours have. And I just want to savor.
I think about all the spending and the stuff and the schedules that chip away at that childhood Christmas I remember myself. I ache at the suffering and sadness that dim that once bright light. Pain turns into tears that dampen the day, and this world is groaning.
“And we know the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up until the present time.” Romans 8:22
And then we exclaim – a child was born.
Into the dirty and the dingy, entered the fragile and fresh. Into the mess we made out of the world He created, He came down to rescue and redeem.
And hope has come.
And peace has come.
And out of the darkness, a flame was lit.
And suddenly, my pulse picks up, and Jesus gives me life.
Because, we wrecked this world by a single choice — my way instead of God’s. And yet, God chose to redeem me with one single choice – God’s way instead of mine. And that’s only and all because of Jesus.
And that’s the beauty of Christmas. “Heaven came down – glory filled my soul.”
And I may craft and bake cookies and check-out with a cartload full of gifts, but that’s not Christmas. Because you can add tinsel to a lot of things, but it in the end, they’re still just things. We were made for more.
We were made for Christmas. Christ come down to us. The heart of God set to beat in a baby. A boy who grew to heal with His hands, to revive and restore. A warrior who starred death in the face and took every beating we deserve and defeated death. Men died to uphold His name. I’ve been transformed by His companionship. I live each day for His Kingdom.
And there’s no more counting down for that, my little ones. His Kingdom, it is here.
“When Jesus heard that John had been put int prison, he withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali – to fulfill what was said through the profit Isaiah:
Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles – the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
From that time, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:12-17
Friends, victory is here!! Just as much as it is at Easter!! I’m tired of simply trying to survive the holiday season; I want to savor it and serve the King who’s come!! As you consider all of the traditions and memories you make this Christmas, make an effort to stop it all – and stare straight up to heaven with your loved ones — knowing because of Jesus – we have assurance of a better Home. And we can rejoice!! “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5