Looking for the holy
When I was a little girl, Christmas seemed to take forever to make its way back to our little house on the end of a dirt road called Bull Run in northeast Louisiana. My sisters and I started counting down the days before the leaves ever began turning. The adults said Christmas came once a year, but I wasn't convinced. Once Santa Claus left the Delta, it seemed like light-years before he found his way back.
Today, I’m a grandmother of six who is amazed by how quickly Christmas comes and how quickly it goes. While I confess to wondering if someone is messing with the calendar, I’m not worried by it. I’ll tell you what saddens me, and that’s just how far from the true meaning of the day much of the holiday circus has strayed.
For the last several years, I’ve been making a determined effort to walk through Christmas looking and listening for the holy instead of being caught up in the madness. What I’ve discovered from experience is that it takes initial intention to ignore the commercial drumbeat to look for Jesus. Then I must make remedial commitments to stay on course as the season progresses.
But, oh, God is worth every single effort to reach for him!
Like everything else in our world, the upcoming holidays will be marked by COVID-19. Christmas is likely to look vastly different for many people. What a blessing it would be if we could all see the differences as opportunities to lean in closer. Imagine the results that could lie ahead for our families if we spent more time looking a little deeper into God’s word and pausing a little longer in prayer. For as beautiful and special as the Christmas story is, it's only the beginning of God’s great gift. The Christ child grew into a man and the man became a Savior who is not only willing to walk with us, he also longs to walk with us, through the good times and the hard.
My prayer this year is that you and I would be determined to feast our eyes on the babe from Bethlehem and encourage ourselves in him long after the decorations come down. If we'll acknowledge him as the Messiah he was born to be, the true joy of Christmas can be ours all year long.
- How could we, as a family, focus more on the true meaning of the Christmas season?
- Can we think of anything that has been good about 2020? Let’s list some of them together.