Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Why I need Christmas
Hot cocoa steam is rising from my Christmas mug. Christmas music is playing on Pandora. Sequins, ribbons, glue and other nerve racking craft items clutter the table I am sitting at. The Christmas season is here. But, once again, I struggle with it. Why?
Is it the craziness of the season, frantic shoppers who will run you over if you don't get out of there way?
No, that doesn't bother me...okay, maybe a little.
Maybe it is suddenly having to rearrange a normal schedule to make room for Christmas programs, parties and dinners.
Nope, that isn't it either. Those are fun.
Is it the sudden focus on Jesus and his birth?
Yep, I think that is it.
Don't get me wrong. I love the Christmas season; decorations, Christmas lights, giving gifts, keeping traditions and making new ones.
But I don't need all of that in order to celebrate Jesus birth. I celebrate his birth every time I open his Word & read of his salvation, grace and redeeming love.
I'm reminded that I would be dead if he were not alive.
Every time I am brought to my knees because once again, my sin is forgiven...I celebrate Jesus birth.
But, I still need Christmas. Even though, during the year I am still aware of the amazing gift of Jesus, Christmas forces me to stop momentarily...pause...ponder...Selah. The traditions we have with our family are all things that should force our usual crazy schedule to shift & give it more purpose.
God wants us to be still and know that HE is God (Psalm 46:10). If we do it right, Christmas can help us do that. But, when I let the crazy worldly way of celebrating Christmas poison our traditions there was no joy, no being still, no enjoyment at all in the holiday.
When God's people were in the desert after being freed from Egypt, God set in order Feasts for the people to celebrate. They each marked a time in their history when God had redeemed, restored & replenished. These were times during the year they were to stop their normal work and focus on God and what he had done. The kids and I studied this not too long ago and I was reminded that holiday's aren't wrong. It is how we celebrate them that is often wrong. The feasts God set in place had purpose. We have lost sight of that purpose.
I know December isn't really when Jesus was born. That's not what this post is about.
This post is about the need to be still and be thankful for Jesus. This can happen all year round, but I love that even though my family celebrates Jesus all year, during December we are able to stop momentarily, draw away from the craziness of life and celebrate together. There is purpose in that. As a mom whose children are quickly growing up and leaving, it is important that I still make this "stillness" possible for my family.
The title of this post was originally, "Why I Don't Need Christmas" because I don't need a holiday to celebrate Jesus. But as I began to type I realized why I do need it.
I encourage you to look for ways your family can be still together and celebrate Jesus.