Christmas is one of my all-time favorite holidays. I love everything about it. The time with family, the fun events, the shopping, the giving, the eating (oh, the eating!), the music, the sweatpants on a cold night (Because I need them from all the eating – HA. No, seriously.), the time off work, the lights… every.single.thing.
With Christmas, there also comes a flood of emotions. Unpacking Christmas ornaments and remembering a whole life-time ago, or so it seems. Each ornament a glimpse of a previous life. A life I don’t even recognize anymore. A box upstairs holds ornaments I’ve not been able to even unpack. Too many memories. Of all the things, it’s the one Christmas thing I kept. One.
This year has been no different. I so long to rest in the real reason for this season. We have been focusing our nightly bible studies on the names of Christ… hanging each name as an ornament on our tree. A tradition that began last year. A human attempt to not miss the baby. The King. The Savior. The Lord. The One. Determined this year not to get so caught up in all the fun traditions that I forget the one thing that matters. One.
And yet, our Christmas traditions are in full swing. And oh how I love a good tradition! It’s been a wonderful December, in that regard. Christmas parties, decorating the tree, cards, concerts, Journey to Bethlehem, hanging lights, festivals and fake snow, candy making, shopping, wrapping, light searching, caroling, Crazy Christmas Show … wonderful.
But here’s the thing… although things have been so wonderful, I knew deep in my heart I was missing it. A part of my heart I kind of closed, not wanting to hurt or feel. It wasn’t intentional and I didn’t even realize it had happened. Things I had boxed up and put away. Until tonight.
Sitting in the quiet and sipping hot tea, I clicked to listen to Hallelujah. A version of this song that I LOVE. As I watched the Christmas lights on the tree and listened to the words the tears began to fall. The Christmas story is amazing. More than amazing, really. A story my mind cannot even fathom.
And that’s when it happened. A whisper in my heart. A voice I needed to hear that reminded me of the one thing that never changes…
God’s love for his people.
All throughout the Old Testament you see God’s undying love for his people. Even when they screwed up, he always had a way for them to return. Always. Over and over again. And then He sends a baby. The one baby in history that literally changed the world. And still does.
In fact, He still changes hearts. Even those that have been closed and boxed away. Those marked “trash” or “donate”. Those too emotional to bear. He would gladly take them all. No hiding. No embarrassment.
So tonight, for the first time this season, I am refreshed. The traditions are fun and I’ve loved them, but a bit of perspective about it all has helped.
Because He is the only one that matters.
And we are the only ones that matters to Him.