Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Heart of Christmas: Finding Jesus

Christmas time can be quite a production.  In the last few weeks we’ve been wrapping, baking, sledding, singing, movie watching, popcorn eating, shopping, planning, and working on resting.  It sure is a lot to fit in.  But Christmas peace, that’s sometimes tougher to fit on the list of to-do’s.  It gets crowded out a bit.  But the last few days I’ve been finding myself wanting to get back to the heart of it all, the reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place.
It’s easy to miss the heart of Christmas because we are distracted by all the things that come along with the season, things that God never intended as we celebrate the birth of his son.
Matthew 11:28-30 gives us an invitation. It says, "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." I believe that's what God has in mind for us, especially during this Christmas season. I'll be the first to admit that I have a hard time finding rest and remembering the heart of Christmas. I like to decorate and shop and bake, and have things just so for my home and my family. Those things are good, but they distract me from the main thing.
In the midst of that I hear God calling me back to a place of rest and remembrance. He is inviting us not to a Christmas event but to a Christmas encounter. An encounter with him this season that leaves us different, full of peace and rest. I think of the people we've come to know in the story of Christ's birth: the shepherds, the wise men, the evil King Herod, even Mary and Joseph, and so many more. Not one of those people came away unchanged after meeting Jesus. He made an impression, even as a small baby. He's still making impressions today; but we're usually too busy to notice, too busy to hear his voice calling us-inviting us to a life changing encounter with the Living God.
I want to answer that call, I want to trade all the pageantry and events of Christmas for an encounter. A meeting with God. That is the heart of Christmas, I don’t want to miss it.  I’m going to hunker down the next few days and really focus on and savor the meaning of it all.  God’s come to earth, grace is extended, new life has begun.  What an amazing thing!  Christmas eve will find us in church, reflecting and ponder and rejoicing.  And I can hardly wait.
Even if it’s just a few quiet moments with a cup of cocoa, may you find moments of peace and joy, dear friends, as you celebrate this season.

4 comments:

  1. What a great post, Gina...thanks for sharing these thoughts :)

    Have a blessed CHRISTmas!

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  2. Great words and great reminders. While out in my workshop (aka garage) feeling kinda guilty for spending so much time out there getting gifts and such ready, I tried to take the time to talk to God about Christmas and what it means to me and those I love. To pray over people as I was preparing their gifts, to think about Christmas day and put my heart in the right place. It's something I've not done before, and I found myself not resenting the time spent but actually enjoying it and feeling it was time well spent. Merry Christmas to you and your family, may you all have a peace filled day of fun and rejoicing.

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  3. One thing that makes me mad is to see so many people forgetting about the reason for Christmas: Christ mas. It was good to find such a beautiful post title.

    ReplyDelete

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