I’ve got a confession to make.
It’s been a struggle for me this holiday season.
You guys, I have always loved Christmas. I’m one of those people who put up the Christmas decorations while singing along with carols before Thanksgiving (don’t hate me!). Like Elf says, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear!”
But for whatever reason, something was amiss this Christmas season.
I’ve decorated the house, sang Christmas carols, given to the needy, sent the cards, gone to church, bought gifts, and baked cookies.
But it’s been like going through the motions until the other day.
I managed to survive a trip to my local mall (Lord have mercy!). After a hectic drive through annoying southern California traffic, circling the parking lot several times to find a space, waiting in a long line, trying to be pleasant to a rude sales clerk, the trek back to my car, and the drive through even more traffic—I finally made it home, utterly exhausted physically and mentally.
I kicked off my shoes and turned on the TV. And wouldn’t you know it! There was the Grinch in all his lack-of-Christmas-spirit-Grinchiness, pricking my conscience about my sour disposition that was ‘cuddly as a cactus, charming as an eel!’ I scowled at the screen, pulling my snuggly blanket closer, feeling like a ‘bad banana with the greasy black peel.’
Enter Cindy Lou Who singing “Where are You Christmas.”
🎼Where are you Christmas
Why can’t I find you
Why have you gone away🎼
As I listened, something dislodged in my heart (kinda like the old Grinch).
I’m not sure why it took me so long, but I decided to bring my lack of Christmas spirit to the Lord.
“Where are you Christmas?” I asked God.
“Have you truly been looking?” Came the still small voice of the Holy Spirit.
Hmmm. I was looking for the fastest route in traffic. I was looking for a good parking space. I was looking for the perfect Christmas gifts. And I was looking for the shortest line.
No. I had not been looking for Christmas.
And as a matter of fact, although I had spent time reading the Bible and praying each day, I found that I had drifted.
Not only did I wane in Christmas spirit, but I had also grown distant from the One I love the most, the One we celebrate at Christmas—Jesus, the ‘Christ’ in Christmas.
Humans have a tendency to drift.
“So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.” Hebrews 2:1
I realized that I wasn’t being careful to listen to the word of truth while reading it. You know, let it penetrate my heart and ponder the wonder of it. And I wasn’t practicing my memory verses.
This is a problem because God transforms our minds and our lives with the Word of truth (Romans 12:2).
I wasn’t making it about a relationship. It had sort of become a duty. Ouch.
It was at this point that I turned off the TV and got on my knees. The couch became my alter, my living room a sanctuary.
And I found Christmas.
I found God’s love and grace, as I confessed and repented of my drifting, lack of connection, and complacency.
Yep, the Almighty met with me, right where I was, with an understanding of the human condition and of me personally like no other. It didn’t surprise me that the creative, loving, forgiving God can use even the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who. I was reminded all over again how important relationship is to God.
Jesus proved His desire to be in a relationship with us when He humbly left His divine position in Heaven, came to earth and was born as a human being (Philippians 2:6-7). This is the reason we celebrate Christmas.
Oh, yes, Christmas came and lived among us. Love came down. We call Him Emmanuel which means God with us.
Christmas is not missing or lost. Nor is God. It is us that lose our way.
My friends, Jesus is the way (John 14:6). Christ and Christmas are as close as you want them to be.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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