I hesitate to even write this, sitting here in the middle of December, my mind spinning with everything I have to do. Let’s be honest – which of us has the time to even read one more thing? These are the days when our calendars are full, our to do list is full, but somehow it feels like our hearts can be a bit hollow. I saw a friend last night for a brief 3 minutes, and as she was telling me about all the activities she is involved in, she said, “why are we even doing all this?”
My mind flew back 10 years. To when my sweet girl was just one – truly celebrating her first Christmas. And this:
She loved her Nativity. She wouldn’t go to bed until she had kissed Jesus goodnight. Every single night. I put a few different Nativities throughout the house every year, and that year, I found myself re-arranging them often. Until I figured out what was going on. They were getting arranged Charissa’s way. With everyone’s backs to the room, all the wise men and shepherds in a clump – you couldn’t really see the Nativity. Then I looked closer, and realized that they were as they really should be – all gathered tight around the manger and baby Jesus.
At the age of one, she got what most of us miss.
We are those people who pull out our Christmas decorations the day after Halloween. Christmas music is on, candles are burning, I have 3 Christmas trees (one has a Muppet as a tree topper, so I’m not sure that counts), and all the necessary blow up figures on my lawn. We love to celebrate this time of year – for the fun and the family, especially for the opportunity it gives us to pull back and really celebrate Jesus. The tragedy of it all is that somewhere amidst the wrapping paper and the noise, Jesus gets a little lost.
And so I buy more devotionals. We do our Jesse tree with the kids every night. I even make sure to eat a piece of chocolate from my chocolate Advent calendar every day (or two or three, depending on how the day goes…)! I study the meanings of what happened when Jesus was born, I read commentaries – I dig because I want to know more, to understand more.
But this year, Jesus keeps whispering to my heart – “just come away and be with me”
There is great value to understanding. I’m not encouraging setting the books aside – God often speaks to me through greater knowledge. But have we lost those quiet moments where we just worship? Just sit in silence and listen for His still small voice?
My sweet Charissa lived a parable for me years ago that will never leave me. I love all the joys and festivities of this season, but as we celebrate, as we wrap gifts and listen to Christmas music, and even while we’re doing our last minute shopping, let us breathe a little deeper, move a little slower. As we sit in traffic – again – let us lift our eyes from the red lights in front of us and let the glory of God all around us sink in. Listen for the song of a bird, look for the rainbow glint of sun off the snow. And tonight, for just a few minutes, try turning off the tv and the bright lights overhead and let the gentle glow of the Christmas tree warm your heart. May we all be a little more like the wise men in Charissa’s Nativity – less worried about what’s “out there” and more turned in, hearts in a beautiful clump around Jesus.
Oh come, let us adore Him!