“For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." (Luke 2: 11-12)
As a young child, my home was usually in an upheaval. However, I always found a place of respite during the Christmas season. We had a manger scene that our mother would place under the tree. I really did not know the whole story of Christmas at that time, but I often would lie on the floor gazing at the nativity scene and wonder how it all came to be. I enjoyed the scent of pine and the twinkling of the lights as any young child probably would. Those years are far behind me now but the memory has vividly lingered all these years.
Perhaps you are in a home that does not celebrate Christmas in such a manner. As an adult and with all the children grown and moved away, I have not put up a tree in several years. I have to confess, in the beginning I used the spiritual excuse that Christmas trees were first brought inside homes by the pagans to celebrate life. So, why would I want to follow a pagan ritual like that? Thinking back, I never once worshipped my Christmas tree. It was something I always enjoyed decorating and never once did I think it evil.
I think when we try spiritualizing everything in our lives, we start becoming intolerant and judging others for their actions. I confess, I too have been guilty of this. Christmas is not a time to look at others, but within ourselves. In the hustle and bustle of Christmas shoppers, we need to find a place of respite; a place of quiet where we can hear the voice of God. It is not so surprising to me that many people leave God out of Christmas, due to stress, present buying, parties, baking, family gatherings etc. These same people can be found making a new resolution in the beginning of the year to include Him once again.
Why not start our New Year resolution now! Keeping focused on the reason for the season. My husband recently received an email from the seminary where he is taking classes. It was talking about Winter Break, and never once said anything about Christmas. In recent years the decline of using “Merry Christmas” as a appropriate season’s greeting has been all to apparent. I don’t want to get into the political implications being forced on us these days. I simply want to ask each of us to look in our own hearts and find the true meaning of Christmas this year. If a big tree with lights and presents is what it takes for you to focus on the Biggest Gift – Jesus, then go for it! If finding a quiet place to reflect on the purpose of your life and the One who gave it to you is what it takes, what are you waiting for? Whatever it takes for you to celebrate the real joy of Jesus birth with your whole heart this year, then do it; for when the New Year comes you will have no regrets. Remember, Christmas without Christ is just MAS! Merry Christmas dear friends and Happy New Year!
For so many of us in today's fast-paced world, it is difficult all year long to find respite, much less in the middle of all the hustle and bustle. I'm certain, for those of us who will MAKE that time to reflect on the true CHRISTmas season, that the Lord will honor it in His own special and loving ways. I really needed this today. Thank you so much for posting it.
You are so right Jane, Christ mas without out Christ is just mas. We can get SO caught up in the hustle and bustle, that we leave Him NO room in the inn of our hearts. How I pray that we no longer do that, but concentrate on the one whom we are celebrating. In His love, Sharon