Thursday, December 12, 2013

Another Christmas

Christmas is my favorite time of year. From the music to the tree, to the joy of watching my kids experience what, to them, is still the wonder of Christmas. Christmas is all about hope. It's about that ultimate gift of hope that was given to us 2,000 years ago. In the form of a tiny baby. Jason Gray writes, in his song "Children Again:"

But for every present left under a tree
There are things that we hoped for and never received
And the years and the yearning can make us forget
To be filled with wonder instead of regret

To be filled with wonder, instead of regret. How often do we live that way? Where we are so focsed on the things in this life that haven't gone our way? Where we become so caught up in what we don't have that we miss the absolute wonder of what this season has to offer?

For me, I know that I lived that way for a long time. As each season rolled around, I would still look forward to Christmas. The gift-giving, the time with family, making memories. But beyond that, I became so caught up in those things that for years I missed out on what Christmas is really all about. You know, we can talk all we want about Christmas not being about gifts or how much you spend. And to some extent, that is true. But what if it is about a gift? What if it is about just how much one person spent on you?

I mean, the Creator of this world, of each human life, spent his most valuable fortune on you and on me. So, sometimes I think it is okay, especially at Christmas to get caught up in the gifts. But we just have to be sure that the gifts we are focused on are the ones that come from above. And the ones that we can offer. Not just to others, but back to the One who gave all that He had.

As a child, for the most part, we are innocent of the pain and loss that this world holds. We can anticipate Christmas and hold on to that excitement. As an adult, it becomes more difficult to focus on the sheer joy of the Christmas season, because the troubles and concerns of this life can cloud our vision. But what if we could shift our focus and go back to that state of innocent wonder? Don't you ever long to be a kid again? To be free of the worries and pain and fears?

When you want to forgive but the wound is so deep
And you ache for forgiveness for the secrets you keep
When the flower of your heart only feels like a thorn
And you long for the child that you were before

There is good news!

We can!

We can become children again.

Because of a tiny baby, who was born into this fallen world of sin and pain. He was the only gift we would ever need, and it saddens me that I spent most of my life missing out on how truly incredible this gift was.

It sounds crazy, that a baby
Would ask for our hearts made of stone
And then give us a heart like his own
If we let him, he will begin
To make us all children again
We will be children again

God wrapped a gift that he hid in the world
Deep in the womb of an innocent girl
But when we were ready and on a dirt floor
Love found a way in and left open the door

I don't know about you but this song fills me with hope. Which brings us full circle. And maybe the holidays are difficult for you. Maybe you are experiencing the pain of loss, or divorce, or loneliness. I know in my heart that the answer is Jesus. The answer is in those tiny hands and tiny feet that came into this world so long ago to offer us what no one else on earth can: hope and peace and joy.

Take even just a moment and allow yourself to be transported back to that manger. To the moment when God gave us the perfect gift, wrapped in swadling clothes. A gift that would change the world. A gift that would lend itself to, hard as it is to believe, the even greater gift of salvation and eternal life.

We can be children again. Especially at Christmas. Don't lost sight of what this season is really all about. Allow yourself to experience the wonder of Christ this Christmas.

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