Monday, December 23, 2013

The Day Before the Night Before Christmas

We will be taking a break from our journey through "Portraits of Prayer" for a very special message...It's almost Christmas!!!!! Knowing how busy everyone is at this time of year, I was going to repost a Christmas poem I wrote many years ago but this morning, God woke me up with a musing that turned into today's blog. I hope you will take 5 minutes to enjoy the following.

It's the day before the night before Christmas!!! Are you ready? For many people, this is the day they set to have everything done...presents bought and wrapped, Christmas decorations up, Christmas dinner planned and food purchased, house cleaned up, Christmas outfits picked out and cleaned.... As I reflect on that first Christmas, I want to offer a few thoughts:

Breathe! As a woman who has gone through childbirth, I can tell you with almost certainty that in those long hours of labor, someone told Mary to breathe. Christmas is coming. We can't stop it or slow it's approach. And during the worst of the stress that often accompanies Christmas, like Mary, we need to breathe. Let go of the worries, the plans, the whatever it is that steals the joy and anticipation of Christmas. I know, you want Christmas to be perfect...all the gifts lined up and coordinated, every surface in your home sparkling from the warm glow of the Christmas lights, and family and friends sitting with their hot chocolate loving on each other. You want the "Hallmark commercial" Christmas and you feel like if you don't control every second, you'll end up with "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation"! For your own sake...breathe! 

Seek Christ! The world was waiting for Christ to come. The Israelites had been promised a Savior and generations of God's people eagerly awaited his arrival and they missed it because they were looking for the wrong thing. They were looking for their King to be born in a palace. But it was the shepherds and later the wise men who sought him in unlikely places. No place was out of the realm of possibility, even a stable or poor man's home. This Christmas, don't look for Christ in all the glitter and glam of the holiday. While it is proper to celebrate the birth of Christ in grand fashion, look for Christ in your heart and in the hearts of those around you. Yes, Christ can be found even in the sinful heart of those who welcome him in! Seek and share Christ and the joy of the season cannot help but be evident and tangible and it won't matter if there are a few dirty dishes in the sink, or if there are fewer or no presents under the tree this year. The perfect Christmas scene, the one you won't find in a Hallmark commercial, is the one that depicts you and me seeking Christ this Christmas!

May God bless you with a very merry Christmas!

1 comment:

Audrey said...

How true Maureen...thanks for sharing this with us!