. . . or not.
I know Christmas doesn’t have anything to do with snow or cold weather or pretty decorations. I know it’s not about the ornaments that represent so many memories. I know it’s not about a big meal with family. I know that Christmas is not about a winter coat and scarf and sipping hot chocolate after caroling around the neighborhood. I know it’s not about fun parties with friends. I know it’s not even about the candle-light service at our church and worshipping with our close friends in a familiar place.
I know all of that.
But this year, when all those things have been stripped away, it’s important to remind myself once again. It’s a good opportunity to examine my heart. If I’m not feeling like it’s Christmas, then my heart is focused on the wrong things.
Yes, I may be Christmas shopping in capri pants and flip flops. And my tiny 4 foot tree may not have any of our cherished decorations on it. And we may be far away from family. And we may not have a new church home yet. But my heart can feel full and my mind can be fixed on the Truth — the Truth about Christmas and the Truth about everything else.
For me, it’s a matter of taking every thought captive. (2 Cor. 10:5)
Maybe you too are having a difficult time feeling like it’s Christmas — maybe you’re mourning the death of a parent or spouse or maybe you’re mourning the death of a dream. Maybe your plans for Christmas are falling apart. Maybe you are far away from family or maybe your son or husband is away defending our country. Maybe you planned to be holding a new baby in this year’s Christmas photo, but those dreams faded with a miscarriage. Or maybe problems in your marriage are casting a dark cloud over this entire season. Maybe you’ve lost your job or you’ve lost a friendship. Maybe you don’t have money to spend on lavish gifts. Or maybe you’re just too busy to bake twenty varieties of cookies and decorate the house. For whatever reason, you’re just not feeling the holiday spirit.
I encourage you to do what I’m doing. Take those thoughts captive. Don’t let the enemy rob you of joy. Fill your mind with Truth. This is what Christmas is all about —
You will conceive a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end. . . . For with God nothing will be impossible. . . . Glory to God in the highest”
Christmas is about God doing the impossible. It’s about the Creator of the universe humbling Himself into the form of a tiny baby. It’s about God coming to dwell with us so that we can dwell with Him forever. It’s about the Rescuer coming to save His people. It’s about the beginning of a kingdom that will never end.
And though heirloom ornaments and chocolate chip cookies and church candle-light services are all wonderful, the absence of those things does not change the meaning of Christmas.