Is it just me or does Christmas seem to be just a little more, I dunno…, Christmassy this year? I seem to be humming a little more than usual. I feel a growing anticipation the last few days. Lights seem to be twinkling just a little brighter. I’m not sure why.
This year has been nothing short of disappointing all. year. long. It’s easy to get get bogged down by the disappointment and negativity. I’ve lost track of how many events I cancelled, shifted or redesigned. I’ll admit, I had a few weeks where discouragement got the better part of me. And, if I’m being honest, I’m a little gun-shy and not sure I’m ready for what’s around the corner in 2021. There just doesn’t seem to be much promise, does there?
So, maybe that’s why I feel a little like I’m 6 years old again. I haven’t felt like that about Christmas in a very long time. This year has stripped me down to my bare minimum when it comes to expectations. I’ve learned l can live without fancy graduation ceremonies, large celebrations and all the busyness that entangles the race marked out for me. We’ve all given up a lot this year, but the one thing that remained constant the entire 365 days was Christ. Christmas is something we can count on. Christ is something we can count on.
Our lives have been interrupted in countless ways this year. And I think of Mary and how much her life changed the moment an angel told her she’d give birth to the Son of God. She didn’t complain, fret or try to change the outcome. She embraced the interruption with humility and trusted God with her circumstances, even though it would cost her so much. I haven’t lived that way this year. Have you?
I’ve been thinking a lot about how our Savior chose to come into our lives, and it wasn’t with a large party, grand gesture or elaborate parade. The King of the World chose simple, modest. The very fact that He loves us enough to leave Heaven to meet us in our filth is cause for embellished attire and fancy catering. And yet, He’s uncomplicated and mild. He’d not asking for celebration and merriment. He’s asking for adoration and love. And I can do that! I don’t have to cancel that!
So, this childlike anticipation I’m feeling must come from a place where all my crusty outer layers have been peeled off revealing a renewed tenderness, and a rejoicing gratefulness for the very basic parts of the Gospel.
God is Love. He loved so much that it overflowed from the outskirts of Heaven and rained down to Earth in the form of an innocent child. A perfect child. A sacrifice to redeem me if I choose to believe it. And because of a baby, I will live forever in gladness.
Nothing can cancel that.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
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