A few days ago, this picture came through my feed on Facebook and it instantly took me back to my childhood. Honestly I think this is the first Bible verse I memorized, all because I loved A Charlie Brown Christmas, but really it is at the heart of the season we are now in... Jesus, his birth specifically, is the reason for the celebration... sometimes when we are out in the craziness at the store or mall we might forget that-- try not to.
The meaning of Christmas has never changed, but some years I think we as people (and most definitely me personally) allow the business, that we all get wrapped up in, to overshadow, at some level, the heart of things. I'm not saying we forget that Jesus is the reason, what I am saying is that maybe that becomes an 'aside.' It's not done intentionally, maybe it's when we have small children and they are so excited about the whole dynamic of the world around them (which is very enrapturing to watch); lights, Christmas decorations, tree hunting, decorating, Santa... everything, it's new to them year after year and their little eyes just become saucers catching every moment of it. I have wonderful memories of my own children enjoying the season.
This however is one of those years that Christmas, and the heart of the season are truly at the center of it. Yes, we will still decorate, and enjoy the holiday, but in the season of life that we are currently walking through, we remember each and every day is about Jesus- in a way like never before. Each day is a gift from the Lord, enjoy the present, it's new every morning.
Last week on Thanksgiving, as Glenn was finishing his second plate of food and making himself stop from loading up a third we both had the same thought-- it was the best Thanksgiving dinner we had ever had, not necessarily because it was the best food ever (but it was really good!) but because there we all were, enjoying it together, by the Grace of God.
My heart for everyone I know, is that you have a wonderful Christmas season, doing all the things that you enjoy with your families, making memories... they will bring you smiles for decades! But in all the activities, remember the Reason for the Season, and impart the Love that the Lord showed for each of us, into someone else's life- the love He showed when He sent His Only Son, as our Christmas gift so long ago. This can be as simple as a smile to the harried mom shopping with her kids (letting her know you understand), or offering that elderly man a cut in line; or it can become as elaborate as you want to make it. Just remember the greatest gift you can give at this time of year, or anytime, is from your heart, it doesn't require money.
Material things will pass away, but a heart full of memories of sharing God's Love will always remain with you. For those of you with children at home- take the oppertunity to teach them about the heart of the season and show them how to go beyond their sphere and become a blessing to another. Even if it's just giving them change for the Salvation Army Kettle, that change can be the difference in a less fortunate families whole Christmas.
Many blessings and prayers for a very Merry CHRISTmas Season!
This video of The Christmas Shoes by Newsong speaks to much of my heart...
remember it's about the giving.