It’s interesting, this time of year. So much music and movies and chatter about the Christmas spirit, about how to get it, and what the season is “really about” (depending on whom you ask). Sometimes I feel happy about all of the activity and lights and peppermint. Sometimes I just feel emotionally manipulated by holiday musak in the grocery stores.
I was thinking on this when I was threading a new warp onto the loom, running cotton through steel heddles and trying not to make a nest of it. Isn’t that what we all try to do? Thread things carefully in our lives, tie up ends, and hope that knots undo with ease? But sometimes bad things happen through no fault of our own, or we sin and really make a mess not only in our own lives, but in the lives of others. Christmas isn’t really about having a holly jolly time of our life here, but we do long with hope for things to be right in the world, don’t we? My heart breaks for the world, in sin and error pining.
And recently I awoke to a dusting of snow, and it was beautiful and the peace was quite palpable. Christmas, however, is not just a feeling we get based on our (hopefully all in line with what we want) circumstances, pretty as it may seem with sugar cookies (a fridge full of food) and stockings (a house full of stuff) hung with care (more to get!). I do enjoy these things and also desire to be comfortable in life–who doesn’t?–but none of that embodies the Christmas spirit. Not really. As the preacher said, it is all vanity (Ecclesiastes 1:2).
The Christmas spirit has nothing to do with family reunions and packages and the laughter of children either, though these are all sweet blessings from the Lord and desirable as well.
Truly, the Christmas spirit is about how God entered into a worldly–and individual–mess to redeem it, to make it anew, to restore and make it beautiful. Christmas is really about the cross; the point of Christmas…is Easter. The lamb of God coming humbly into the world…and dying on a cross and resurrecting three days later to atone for the sins of those who would–also–humble themselves. Have you repented and put your trust in Him alone? Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. (Luke 15:10)
Do you long to have a true Christmas spirit, that rightness with God and with man? Then do as the shepherds did on that eve, and bow humbly before the King of Kings. It is not gifts under a tree or fruitcake or reindeer that pause that cultivate the Christmas spirit. It is WORSHIP of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is worthy to be praised, even if our days aren’t merry, bright or white. How will you worship Him this season? In the coming year?
A very merry Christmas to you, and Lord willing, I shall see you in the next year.