I have a confession to make.
Sometimes, as much as I know better, I 'lose' the spirit of Christmas.
As much as I know better, I get my focus OFF of God, His Son, and the whole Biblical narrative.
As much as I know better, I let the stresses of trying to 'get everything done' make me cranky.
As much as I know better, I let financial pressures and decisions leave a hole in my heart at Christmas.
As much as I know better, I find myself asking "Where are you, Christmas? Why can't I find you?"
Can you relate?
I mean, I KNOW the truth: Christmas is about "Emmanuel"--God is WITH us!
I know the prophecies: "Behold, a virgin will be with child, and give birth to a son, and he shall be called 'Immanuel', which means "God with us"." (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23)
I know that the angel Gabriel appeared and told Mary that SHE was the one through whom these things would happen (see Luke 2). I know that he also appeared to Joseph and told him that "the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21)
He has come in the form of that baby in the manger. He didn't stay a baby, but rather grew, taught, showed Himself to be 'God in human form', and went to the cross to pay for our sins and to give us eternal LIFE--all by God's grace, through faith in Jesus.
So, how can I miss that?
How can I let myself get off track? How can I find myself wondering "Where are you, Christmas"?
I guess it really is all about perspective. All about mindset and focus.
If I focus on the here and now stuff, I will get distracted and end up discouraged. I will fail to see what 'is', because all I'm thinking about is what 'isn't'.
And I refuse to do that.
Instead, I will choose to do these things:
I WILL worship the Lord--the reason for the season.
I WILL enjoy my family times--and not let money, etc. rob me of them.
I WILL bring myself and my family back to the story--the Biblical story of God loving us enough to become a human being, knowing that it would mean death...in our place!
I WILL focus on the joy of loving others and giving to them what I can--material in some ways, but also giving myself and giving my faith to them too!
I WILL focus on love.
Will you join me?
Let's REFUSE to let the distractions, the stresses and the difficulties sidetrack us from expressing love--for God, for family, for others.
Let's rediscover Christmas!
"Christmas is here, everywhere you go; Christmas is here if you care, oh!
If there is love in your heart and your mind, you will feel that Christmas all the time.
I feel you, Christmas! I know I've found you, you'll never fade away!
The joy of Christmas stays here inside us, fills each and every heart with love."