On this eve of what should be one of the best & holiest days. I look at myself, I look at the people around me, I look at the shopping malls and my newsfeed… Looking for what should be. I’m not sure I find it everywhere it should be, starting with myself. I’m not who I should be, but what a time of year to start anew…
What better place to get on your knees in repentance, to become nothing and start again,than at the foot of the manger? Maybe you need a manger, a lonely house, a Christmas tree, or a cross… Whatever it is, what better moment to understand the weight of our salvation than the one time of year when (whether it all looks like it should or not) everyone we know is celebrating a holiday that is supposed to be a reminder, a place marker for us, an illustration that makes simple and plain God becoming a little child. The sacrifice of a child born to die… What better place than here to recognize the love we’ve been shown, to understand the weight of what we have been given that though we fall short, we are loved in a way we don’t understand… We are worth a sacrifice that we can barely wrap our minds around.
Many of us have been dealt some legitimately sorry hands, I know people who have room and broken heart enough to complain plenty. But often those are the people where I see the most Grace
Some of us can barely accept what we can’t get or don’t have, the disappointment of not having enough at Christmas; money, love, time, relationship, things… We just don’t have what we need, and many of us can’t get over that long enough to even think of the needs of the people around us, much less meet them. Would we be willing to give a piece of ourselves, or sacrifice our life for those we love? Or for a selfish, needy, ungrateful, person who may very well be spending this holiday season steeped in self pity? Would we give everything for a whole group of them? The self serving, complaining, seldom satisfied group, we justify our sin and right to live in self pity, self medicate, hurt others because it’s our right. Maybe we’ve lived a good life, so we deserve these complaints, we can “do what we have to” to survive because we’ve held onto hope and been crushed too many times…
Many of us have been dealt some legitimately sorry hands, I know people who have room and broken heart enough to complain plenty. But often those are the people I see the most Christ in, the most grace, an understanding of sacrifice and salvation. I want to live in that grace. I want my old self gone with all the things in me that keep me from being one of the things that is as it should be. What better place for me to die again than at the foot of the birth of my salvation?
What better place than here to recognize the love we’ve been shown to understand the weight of what we have been given that though we fall short, we are loved in a way we don’t understand… We are worth a sacrifice that we can barely wrap our minds around.
What better reminder of my need to be weak than seeing a perfect savior become weakness for my sake. I have spent much of my life trying to be strong, on my own. This often backfires. My own strength, stubborn independence and self sufficiency is my enemy, my danger. The times I have accepted and understood my brokenness, my need to be simple the importance of not being complex, this is where I am saved. People jokingly make witty prayers to “baby Jesus” I laugh along with the rest of you. But you know baby Jesus is what I needed. It’s just as important for me to accept that God became a defenseless child as it is for me to know He didn’t defend himself on the way to the cross.
Between juggling the Christmas dinners, last minute shopping, helping the needy, spending time with family, being in love with Christmas spirit ringing in the background… However you celebrate or if you don’t. Take this season to look at our salvation, to remember your need for it. Some of us know it, some of us don’t. Remember it, remember that you have a love that you don’t understand, great sacrifices were made for you, every gift you could want cannot compare to what you’ve been given… We crave love, The dream we have of a perfect love, we already have… the only complete and unconditional experience of love we will ever have. Take a knee, turn around, remember what it should be about. We have everything we need.
Happy Christmas Eve! I hope you have what you need this Christmas and everyday.