Today, my father and I headed out to buy a dryer belt so that my laundry will actually dry indoors...ugh! But, alas, I have to surrender to the noisy hot machine. I am grateful, don't get me wrong, but I relish laundry blowing in the wind...except that the wind may be blowing snow around with it tomorrow! I realize this is hard to imagine! I get a kind of childlike excitement over a tiny symmetrical shape wetting my nose or eyelids as I look upward...
After we got the dryer belt, we headed to Big Lots to get hooks for my dad's 'Christmas vacation' decorating along the garage/shed roof. And while we were there, he wanted to buy a reindeer, you know, the kind that bob their heads. But I reminded him that Christmas was about Jesus being born in a manger and I'd love it if he wanted to spend money on that...so we asked the clerk if they had a manger scene to which she said, "I don't think so...we did last year, but I haven't seen any this year." WHAT??? Isn't Christmas about baby Jesus? She seemed oblivious to that fact and just walked away. I was taken aback by this, although I know I shouldn't be...
This holiday is only second to Easter for me. The reality that The God whom we did not know or care to know came down to earth and rescued us from the clutches of our enemy, set us free from selfishness, sin and death, and gave us His nature, even before we ever desired to know or experience this rescue.
We did nothing to deserve such sacrifice and love; yet He came-lowly, humbly, and despite His enemy's attempts to kill Him.
He was celebrated by angels in the sky the night he was born-even if it was probably in September, not December 25th!
He should receive the greatest gifts: Our hearts, our devotion and yet I daily sense the war of consumerism trying to grip my soul.
Am I opposed to decorations of snowmen, wooden soldiers, or a Christmas tree? Absolutely not!As a matter of fact, I hung (from four steps up the ladder) greenery with lights, pine cones picked along the way from Florida to Texas last March, as well as gold beads strung with mini trees and stars along the beam that runs across the living room,
and we're putting up our tree tomorrow nite for Family nite.
It is a wonderful time of the year to reflect and celebrate the beauty of God's goodness with lights...He is the Father of lights and so we have no shortage of them around this new home!
It has been my intentional, purposeful desire to make Jesus' birth the focus of this holiday and I've done this in a few simple ways:
1. He wakes me every morning and I spend quality time with Him, listening to His Word.
2. I intentionally listen to Christmas music that celebrates His birth.
3. I talk to myself- you know, that self talk we all do-about what I'm seeing in stores that would draw me away from my intentional desire-
4. I would say the greatest freedom comes because I recognize how desperately I need Jesus and the more I spend time with Him, the more I want to and therefore, it feeds the love between us.
After years of struggling with the unrealistic expectations of Christmas, I'm free.
He has truly set me free.
But again, Galatians 5:1 reminds us that we must stay free.
Are you intentional, purposeful?
What do you do to celebrate the baby born in manger in order to escape the corruption in the world that comes through lust?