Ever notice how it seems hard to breathe during this time of year? We get so busy and caught up in the shopping, decorating, and making sure we get our Christmas cards out on time that our air seems to be in short supply and we almost forget to take a breather once and a while. We begin to focus on the holiday, instead of the Holy One, and in doing so, our spiritual lungs take the brunt of it.
I am totally at fault of doing this. This year especially, I’ve toed the line by being aware of it, wanting to slow down and inhale deeply, and yet there is so much to be done and so little time to do it. My Christmas list...well, I haven’t even started on. I’ve been talking to my family members trying to pick their brains for gift ideas, and then there’s the decorating to do and figuring out how many of my favorite Christmas cookies I can actually consume without it putting on a few pounds!
But at the end of the day…it doesn’t matter.
The Christmas tree, the presents, the holiday parties….they don’t matter.
The true meaning of Christmas…that’s what matters.
I am reminded of the real meaning on a weekly basis. My nieces and I have begun to read a book every time we’re together. They’re finally at the age where they’ll sit through an entire book. It took me almost a year to find out in one of their books if the baby bird actually finds his mother, so to finally finish a story is a huge victory! But the story we’ve now been reading through almost each day isn’t one I need to finish to know how it ends. It’s the cutest little book about two mice that go in search of a King who is coming to Bethlehem. They look, but they can’t find Him. They ask, but no one knows. It isn’t until the end, when they are tired and disappointed, and finally head home that they come face-to-face with a King named Jesus. It doesn’t matter how many times I read it, the ending always makes me cry. And it isn’t because the mice are so cute. It’s because this is what Christmas is all about. God sending His only Son to earth, to save you and me. It’s so crazy to think about, and that’s probably what gets me. The realization that God loved me so much He would send Jesus to rescue me. That, in itself, is the greatest gift anyone could ever give.
So while you bake delicious cookies and trim the tree, take a minute, and breathe in the truth. Over two thousand years ago, your Heavenly Father loved YOU so much that He presented YOU and me with the ultimate gift. It’s a one-size fits all, and unlike that sweater you may get that you don't really like, I have a feeling you won’t want to return this gift
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16