Over this Christmas week, Marvin and I will enjoy this glorious season – family, friends, celebration! (Be back blogging in one week.)
Christmas is now. I don’t always relish tradition or media infused images of how Christmas should be or could be in my life. Life’s changing nature often brings with it a different movement of Christmas for me year by year. Some years are a bit traditional. Other years are more spontaneous or random. That’s life. So I rest in Christmas, now, and enjoy it without any self-imposed expectations.
I found myself saying to Marvin last week, “Christmas just doesn’t feel like Christmas this year.’ Then I had this aha moment of how incredibly ridiculous that sounded. How is Christmas exactly supposed to feel? What defines this glorious season? Christmas is about birth, life, and glory in Christ. Life moves and changes so why don’t I just move with it, finding joy in the moment of this season? That changed everything for me.
I choose to view Christmas as now, for that is what it is for me. Christmas moves around me with its own way, its own beauty, and wonder, right where I am, today. I won’t let tradition dictate my course of action, but allow Christmas to be Christmas, wherever I am and whomever I am with at the time. There is no perfect Christmas. There is only the message of its beauty and grace and glory in Christ Jesus. Christmas is now for me.
Images try to form in my head this month dictating the perfect Christmas – media shows me what I need to buy, how I need to look, or what I need to do. Those happy pictures of people shopping in malls loaded down with gifts. Families gathering around Christmas trees, smiling filled with an innocence and sweet perfection. Christmas music playing. Those invasive templates can make or break you. You can see that it is an illusion. Or, you can fall prey to their schemes and get depressed over your apparent lack – financially, relationally, and spiritually.
I choose to take control over it all and declare, “Christmas is now”. And in seeing its beauty now, I can relax and enjoy the season in my way. Whether I lack finances or have plenty. Whether I am surrounded by many people or are alone or with one other person. Whether I can feel anything or not. Whether I even have a tree or not. Christmas is not defined by any of that. Christmas is Christ and no matter how much they try to remove Him from the equation, there is no Christmas without Christ. In that respect, you have it all. I have it all. He is all.
Christmas is now and each year is a vivid reminder of its inherent glory in the awesome reality that a child, a King, a Savior, the Christ lives in me so Christmas is alive in me now and everyday. In Him I find joy and peace amidst the chaos and changing conditions of life. He alone rises above every false expectation or grand illusion about Christmas. Jesus Christ is alive and His life is flowing through me, right now. It is a time to be filled with joy for joy is not based on the external but rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ. I leave you with a prayer from my heart.
May this Christmas awaken you to the reality of the season, Jesus Christ. His great love for us is so wide, so deep, so grand that our hearts cannot begin to comprehend its depth. How He loves us so! May His love flow as an ocean’s wave into the depth of your circumstances, into the reality of your life right now. Rise up from everything that seeks to entangle you in cynicism or negativity. Rise up in the beauty of joy and the simplicity of His love for you. Look past the ordinary to experience the extraordinary wave of His love for each of us.
Merry Christmas to each of you!