The opening scene of White Christmas brought me to tears yesterday. I watched as Bing Crosby sang this favorite Christmas carol to an audience of World War I soldiers. With bombs firing in the distance, the soldiers hung weary heads and rested their chins on unarmed weapons. With some eyes closed, they listened to Crosby’s words and dreamt of Christmases, “just like the ones they use to know.”
Something deep within me resonated with those weary soldiers. In 2012, I, too, am tired from the warfare around me, my ears ringing from life’s bombshells. My body and mind are weak from daily battles.
When I was a little girl, the wonder of Christmas came with no effort. None. Childhood made it simple. With the rolling out of cookie dough and lighting of a tree…the magic of Christmas came to life.
But now, an adult, bombarded with bills and sickness and work and strife, I have to fight hard for my childlike wonder.
We all know the truth now. Santa doesn’t make the toys.
As adults we must strive to maintain the wonder of Christmas. And in our post-modern culture, the battle is fierce for the real Truth. The truth of Jesus.
Let me tell you, I went to three “secular” department stores looking for a ‘Jesus’ plaque for my mantel. Three. I wasn’t being picky. I just wanted something to say “Jesus” or “Christ is Born” or anything about the true reason we are all doing all of this Christmas stuff.
But three stores later…Nothing. Not. One. Thing.
I ended up at Hobby Lobby and found the word “Faith” in the woodwork section. And I had to paint it myself.
Nothing ‘Jesus’ in the Christmas section. NOTHING ‘JESUS’ IN THE CHRISTMAS SECTION!
Lelia Chealey, a writer friend of mine, wrote a post the other day titled “Don’t Forget the Birthday Boy.” A wonderful entry full of encouragement and conviction about our Birthday Boy, Jesus. She explains that when she plans a birthday party for one of her own children she is laser focused on that one child, the birthday boy or girl.
But Christmas is different. It is like planning a month-long party, but forgetting to invite the guest of Honor. We often times forget for whom we are planning the celebration.
LORD! Let me not forget!
As I sit here, typing away at my little spot at the kitchen table, the Lord is drawing me close to the manger. Shushing the noise around me. My finger to my lips and my hand over my heart, I lean in towards the Baby who came to save me. I want to lean so close I can hear Him breathe.
Shush the noise. He says. Close the computer. Come closer.
As I plan His party, I’m called to close the noisy doors and open up my heart. Making way for the Coming King. The Guest of Honor. Immanuel.
I want the rest of the month to be nothing but preparation for Him. I want to bake cookies with my little boys and wrap presents in sparkling paper. Let the Christmas music blare a little too loud through my home as I sing a bit off key! I want to fellowship with my friends and snuggle with my husband and watch Elf and It’s A Wonderful Life. I’m pretty sure I have enough Christmas earrings to change daily until the 25th. And Peppermint Mochas…I want to drink as many as possible.
It is the most wonderful time of the year and I want to wring it dry of all it offers.
But to do it, I am choosing to close shop on any extras. The blog is one. My quiet times need to be laser focused on the party prep, Amen? Zeroing in on the Word made Flesh.
Sweet friend, does something in you identify with those weary soldiers? Are you fighting for the wonder of Christmas, too?
What noise is drowning out the joy of Christmas? Can you close shop on a few things?
Fifteen days and it is all over.
This morning ask Him, “Lord, where can I minimize the busyness so I can maximize the wonder of Christmas?”
And consider this my Christmas wish to all of you. I am so thankful for your loyalty to reading my blog. I pray the Lord uses it to draw you closer to the manger. Every single morning.
Merry, Merry Christmas! You are dear to me.
Father God, thank you for the Word made flesh. Thank you for this time of year that is designated for the celebration of Baby Jesus. Forgive me for ever losing sight of why we are doing all of this. You are it! Lord, let me put the breaks on any unnecessary things so I can focus on the “only One who is good”… Christ Jesus. (Matt. 19:17) Speak to me about what I can settle down in my life so I can fully embrace all the joy this time of year offers. Let me sit at Your feet. Let me enjoy my children. My family. My friends. Let me see these moments as finite so I can enjoy them all the more. I love you so much, Lord. You are everything to me. Let the next 15 days be about nothing but You. In the name that came to save us, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6