The hustle the bustle. To-do lists. Gift lists - for family, for friends, for neighbors and teachers, for the mailman and co-workers. Busyness. Expectations. Stress. Calendars bursting at the seams. Glitz. Santa. Materialism. Performance. Decorating. Commercials boasting the latest and greatest necessity to make one happy. Perfectionism.
What if it was all stripped away, and left naked of the stuff?
What if Christmas was really only about Jesus?
Would it look any different?
He carried down tub after tub after tub that groaned with the weight of Christmas decorations. Nine. I counted nine in all, and as I counted I felt my heart race and my stomach turn. Nine storage bins of stuff that was supposed to usher Christmas into my home. Up until last year, decorating for Christmas brought so much excitement and anticipation for me. Last Christmas, I emptied but one tub and decorated our tree. My heart was heavy, and the other decorations seemed frivolous. I chalked it up to the blanketing sadness that wrapped our family due to Jamesy not being home yet, as once promised.
I was sure that this year I would dive fully back into decorating my home top to bottom. But the nine boxes that stared at me seemed to mock the knowing that I now hold in my heart, of the poverty I had witnessed this year, of the truth of the fact that I have lived a sheltered, comfortable, ignorant to the plight of others, life here in America. That knowing permeates everything. My eyes see things and people differently - even Christmas. My eyes are seeing Jesus and His birthday - perhaps truly for the first time.
It's the reclaiming of Christmas that my soul longs for.
The erasing of the unnecessary and the magnifying of the Necessary - the only necessary in this life and the one to come - Jesus Christ. Christmas and all that it brings points to Him who came as a rag swaddled babe, born in a feeding trough in order to rescue the poverty stricken, broken me.
My one desire this season is to be intentional about this Christmas. In every choice of celebration this year it must point back to Jesus. It must.
Without Jesus, there is no Christmas.
Christmas is Christmas only because of Jesus.
Come let us adore Him - Christ the King!