When I think of Christmas coming in a few weeks, I don’t know whether to be EXCITED OR EXHAUSTED! Traveling to four different places in October and November makes it feel as if a year’s worth of travel and ministry has been tucked into two months. BUT—I get a thrill and fresh passion for God every time He opens doors to speak about Him and encourage others.
How about you?
• Do you feel in a time crunch?
• Are you frantically rushing around getting bargains?
• Racing home to hide your gifts until they can be wrapped and kept from prying eyes?
• Are you excited by the Christmas lights blinking everywhere, making your street look like a fairyland?
• Is seasonal music lighting up your heart—or giving you a massive migraine?
Have you ever wished you could just stay in bed, eat something delicious, read a great book, and not have to cook, clean up, go somewhere, or have any demands placed on you? Are you sinking into a Scrooge-like attitude and wanting to say “Bah. Humbug” to anyone who wishes you a Merry Christmas?
I hope not. But I do remember struggling a bit with that attitude several years ago when we lived in Singapore. Let me explain:
My husband and I lived in Singapore for over two years.
Singapore is hot—very hot—even on Christmas Day. We had a toaster oven in our miniature kitchen—not even big enough for a baby chicken, let alone a great big turkey and all the trimmings. Real, live, Christmas trees cost a small fortune. Plus we had no decorations. Hardest of all was we had no children or family to share the day with. And we had few friends (just so you won’t start crying on my behalf, we did eventually get invited to someone’s home—who had an American sized kitchen, oven, and turkey!)
But as I lay in bed one morning thinking about the sad Christmas that awaited us, God broke through my gloomy thoughts with a challenging question:
Just what does it mean to celebrate Christmas, Poppy?
It made me think. Is it all the extras? The decorations, food, parties, presents? Yes, these are wonderful, but… If I were to be honest that is what Christmas can become—a mere human, earthly, cultural happy day. But it’s so much more than that isn’t it.
Christmas is celebrating Jesus, God’s most wonderful, life-changing gift coming into the world. Coming into your world. Coming into my world. And we will never be the same—what a glorious thought. He is the reason for music, laughter, joy, giving gifts that delight (we hope!), expressing love in the hours spent getting that big bird (or whatever you prepare) ready and making those delicious treats to share with others.
Yes, my friends. Rejoice! May you celebrate this whole Christmas season as you marvel at the incredible love of God seen in His amazing gift, the Lord Jesus Christ.
(And if you feel growly and Scrooge-like, look up and smile. God has poured out His best for you and a heart-felt “Thank you” will change your perspective so you can enjoy a MERRY CHRISTMAS!)
I’m praying you all have a special celebration this month. As for me, I’m taking the rest of December off so I can get ready for all God has ahead in 2018. I’ll be back in touch in January.
Blessings from Him who gave Himself for us!