Don’t Lose the Christ in Christmas

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” – Luke 2:8-12

This afternoon I mailed a grocery bag full of handmade Christmas cards. I had spent several hours addressing and writing them out (yes, it takes that long) to clear my docket for what I knew – or thought I knew – was coming: a huge work project.

This afternoon the emails began, and the project is more pressing and more daunting than I imagined. Yes, the cards are assembled and mailed, but what about my remaining crochet projects? What about the baking and the candy making and, oh, let’s not forget the shopping?

Make this. Go here. Buy this. Mail that. And manage to fit it all in between long work hours. I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll slip into an exhaustion-induced coma come Christmas morning.

Ho. Ho. Ho.

It occurred to me today as I ran mailed my cards and made my neighborhood warehouse store run that I may be missing something this Christmas – as in the centerpiece of my celebration.

I’m busy doing good things for many people. I’m trying to give hope to those who don’t have it. I’m even fitting in long quiet times each day. Still I often lose sight of what all it’s all supposed to be about: It’s about God coming down as a baby born in the humblest of circumstances to bring about the redemption of all who believe in Him.

I struggle to get my head around that. I can’t fathom such love. I can’t comprehend such humility. I can’t grasp the depths of such grace. I try to imagine what He experienced on our behalf – on my behalf. He was fully God but also fully human. He knew pain. He knew discomfort. He knew heartache. He knew loneliness. He knew hunger, thirst and poverty. All for me. All for you. All out of incomprehensible, indescribable love.

My heart should be overwhelmed with gratitude. Instead, it has been overwhelmed with anxiety as I stare my deadlines in the eyes.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. –  Isaiah 9:6

Am I seeking the guidance of my Wonderful Counselor? Am I drawing upon the strength of my Mighty God? Am I trusting in the sovereignty of my Everlasting Father? Am I calling out to my Price of Peace?

Lord, be born anew in my heart today. Let me celebrate Your advent. Please don’t let me lose the Christ in Christmas.

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