Finding Christ in Christmas (1st of 3 posts)

What images come to mind when you hear this?

I tend to think of a warm, cozy house beautifully decorated,Christmas
Fireplace is lit,
Lights are twinkling,
Sips of a hot cup of coffee,
Silent Night playing in the background,  worshipful hearts,
Smell of Christmas cookies baking in the oven,
Children dancing around in matching matching P.J.’s,
Giggles heard from their little smiles, excitement in their hearts (and yours too),
Beautifully wrapped presents under the tree,
Stockings hung just waiting to be filled,
Anticipation of your loved one opening that special gift you hand-picked just for him,
Satisfaction that you found that special gift 75% off & your bank account is still in tack,
Basically, All is Right with the World. It truly is The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

These are some of the images that come to my mind.

Unfortunately, our worlds aren’t always this picturesque. Real life is much messier.
So, maybe your fireplace is lit & your house is warm & cozy,
But just as you sit down with that cup of hot coffee, you notice toys scattered on the floor- the ones that you already asked your child to pick up, more than once 20 minutes ago.
The cookies are smelling delicious, but the kitchen is a disaster from not only the cookie ingredients, but also the dishes from dinner that have yet to be loaded in the dishwasher.
The children still need to be bathed, and you’re just hoping those Christmas pajamas are clean.
Instead of the softness of Silent Night, a loud version of Jingle Bells is blaring.
The giggles from the children are replaced with whining or crying or fighting…. And you know you have to go take care of that situation.
And maybe you did find that perfect gift for someone special, but it definitely wasn’t on sale, and there went your Christmas budget!

On top of your household craziness, there is always the extended family situation that is rarely perfect…. So-and-So is upset with Aunt Betty and they’re not coming to Christmas dinner.
There’s the tension from an ongoing conflict of others in your family that seems to makes everyone in the room uncomfortable.
Or maybe, this is the first year that you’re celebrating Christmas without the loved one that the Lord took, and you have a very real ache in your soul because you miss them so badly, and now Christmas is in some ways, stained with sadness for you.

Overall, at the end of the day, it’s hard to find contentment in your soul this time of year, even though it is Christmas.
Instead of peace, there’s frenzy.
Instead of rest, there’s anxiety.
Instead of joy, there’s weariness.
And instead of a quiet trust in God, there’s the guilt of:
“Wow. I haven’t even thought about Jesus, much less read my children the Christmas story.
In fact, I haven’t opened my Bible in weeks, because I’ve been too busy shopping and preparing for the holidays.”

And you realize that you have missed the point of Christmas again this year.
We have and the world gives us, an expectation of what Christmas should look like.
And these may be good things, but at the end of the day, if we have beautifully decorated houses and all the other outward things, but our hearts are far from God, we have missed it.

So, my hope for these next few posts is to bring your mind and heart back to Him this Christmas. Let’s put aside the frenzy of this season and intentionally turn our attention back to Christ.

And I hope your heart will say:

“God, what would you have me dwell on this Christmas season?
Father, turn my soul toward you & away from the hustle and bustle of the world.
God, help me to value this Son of yours, as He is truly worthy of.
And God, if nothing else in my household goes according to plan, help me to have a heart that adores and cherishes Jesus Christ this season.”

In the next several posts, I will remind us of just who baby Jesus is…. stop back by tomorrow for the first installment from Luke 1!

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