It's Good News!
Hello Sweet Friends, I am frantically running though my Christmas list.... a growing one I might add. I'm sure many of you share this sentiment! It is hard to hold tight to the meaning of Christmas amidst the long lines and overflowing list and time racing past us. How quickly it creeped upon me this year! I really do love this season, except for the moments (like now) where I feel pressed to have it all together, and I don't.
Hustle and bustle aside, could we stop for a moment to bask in the little treasures that the season brings? Could we find joy in the little gifts that dance about us this time of year? Could we press pause on all that draws out our inner Grinch and just partake in those things that bring wonderment into our lives?
Of course, we can:) We can stop and inhale the songs of the season with appreciation rather than annoyance....."Joy to the World!" (Of course, it would help if the department stores didn't start playing them in October.) I truly love the music of Christmas from the carols to the old soulful Aaron Neville, and oh what I would give for a "Silent Night" curled up next to the fireplace sipping on cider right now. I love the smells of Christmas from cinnamon and Frazier firs and yummy Christmas treats! I so enjoy seeing little children dressed as lambs and Mary and baby Jesus in Christmas pageants, especially when they are your own, right? Watching movies that take me back to my own childhood wonderment of the season...Charlie Brown Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street and even Christmas Vacation. And even though I dread the crazy frantic speed that Christmas throws us in racing from house to house, family to family, I love that we intentionally make time to share the season. We make space this time of the year for those we love when other moments quickly pass us by, even with best of intentions.
Taking it all in does something to your soul, doesn't it? It calls you to stop and partake. Yet we choose to operate out of frenzy instead of bask in glory? I have yet to figure this one out??? Perhaps, we are missing it all in our attempt to "get it all together?"
We attended our local church's Christmas Show on Sunday evening, and I was taken by this young woman that proclaimed so emphatically the story of the birth of Jesus. Her passion infectious as she relayed the details of the Christmas Story drew us all in. (The real story, not the one with reindeer and elves:) She finished with something to the effect of this birth being the good news....our Christmas gift, the real Christmas story. Our gift to life that was full and free! And it is good news! Almost too good to believe how much God loves us!
And so I wonder why more people aren't sharing it? And if more shared it like her, full of passion and life and love, wouldn't it be beautiful to see how differently people received it?
This great story is so lost in the commercialization of the season that I fear so many are finding their list getting closer to complete.....tree lift, gifts abound, dinner planned, home decorated, stockings hung, but they have missed the entire Christmas story. The greatest love story of all, that while we were yet sinners He came for us, has yet to find life in us and our homes. A birth that would redeem the lost and bring us back into relationship with the One Great Love of our souls is overshadowed by lights and mistletoe and check list.
Oh, sweet friends, how I pray that revival takes hold of you this season. Oh, how I pray that this is the Christmas that you are to never be the same. Oh, how I pray that when you see a tree you think not of a jolly old man that comes to fill it, but of the one nailed to it proclaiming....this is how much I love you! And every time you are taken back by a beautiful display of lights, I pray you are convicted deep of your calling.....you are the light of the world. And with each gift you touch, I pray the reality of the gift of His love for You invades your marrow so that it can no longer be contained. I pray that your life becomes the living message of the Christmas Story! Christ alive in us is the greatest Christmas gift of all, and when we receive it, His love will begin to invade the atmosphere around us......revival happens! And isn't it about time revival happens in this place?
This season may we be so willing to say.....Here I am Lord! Set me a flame for all to see!
In His Wings, Ro