Hey, you!- the one trying to escape the pervasive sadness that sits like a wet blanket over you as you numbly go through the motions this holiday season- You want to feel warm and fuzzy, but you just don’t know how- I’m right there with you, friend.
I don’t know why you’re down. For me, it’s not one particular thing; it’s everything. I’m not where I want to be in so many areas of my life, and sometimes it’s overwhelming. My sister is deployed and it’s our first Christmas without her. My cat pooped on my bed right before I left to drive up to my parents.
The fake, commercial, plastic Christmas can’t make everything right in the world. Even church isn’t putting me in the Christmas spirit. At my home church I’m slightly put off by the not-so-subtle guilt trips to get us to donate to whatever cause they’re involved in (not necessarily bad, but can we just focus on the Gospel?), and at my parents’ church for the Christmas Eve service there was no Christmas reading. The pastor instead talked for twenty minutes about some fictional character named Russell who lived in a small apartment and learned to bake bread and then one day he baked bread for communion and learned that Bethlehem meant “House of Bread” and then he became a believer because Jesus could relate to his life as a baker..um..what? My mom and I couldn’t make eye contact because we were silently shaking with laughter.
So, I’m trying to get my mind right. What is the way to honor God today?
I know Christmas isn’t a lot of things: it’s not about presents, or Santa, or even Jesus’ actual birthday. It’s not my birthday, either, as our pastor pointed out before showing us a video of the orphanage in Vietnam they want us to support.
I am thankful that Jesus was born to walk among us, show us who God really is, and die willingly on that wicked cross for our sin.
I also love all the good food, gift giving, and family time. Who doesn’t?
So why am I not feeling Christmasy?
I don’t think God is truly worshiped during Christmas. At least, I’m not privy to any Spirit-filled, tear-inducing, gratitude-fueled praise this season.
Dang it. I think I’m feeling off because, in my heart, Christmas is all about me. Will people think I did well picking out gifts? Did I spend too much or too little? I want fun, and I want “perfect”. I expect this magical day to deliver all the good feels.
When the meals are eaten and the wrapping paper gathered and thrown away, have we worshiped God with thankful hearts or are we dissatisfied and wanting more?
For me, it’s usually the latter.
You know what actually does deliver the warm fuzzies? Focusing on God and all that he has done; his constant presence and provision; and his good plan for those who love him.
That is what makes me happy. The heart realization of his unfailing love. If I keep that close by me, I know joy and peace won’t be far behind.Thanks for processing with me.
It’s going to be a good day because God IS.