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For unto you is
born this day
in the city of David
which is Christ the Lord
All I want for Christmas is a pause button on life. If there’s anything I keep hearing from friends and family and internet peeps alike, it’s this: DAYUM, time flies. Where the heck has 2016 gone?! I’ve admittedly been a bit frustrated this Christmas season. Christmas is hands down my favorite time of year. It always bugged the heck outta me in school – especially in college – feeling like I couldn’t truly enjoy the festivities until post-finals…which always ended up being about a week before the big 2-5. I longingly wished away college Christmases and couldn’t wait for post-grad Christmas, thinking it would be different with a month+ of being fully in the red-and-green zone.
…it’s not. If anything, it’s harder. There is no set ending point for the entrepreneur – no built-in “days off” or vacation time to take a breather and rest.
So, I’m making a decision. I’m giving myself a break and intentionally choosing the true meaning of Christmas. There will be no more posts on CUR until AFTER Christmas Day. Why? Because there’s something much more important than gift-wrapping and shopping and cookies and Santa to celebrate this season. What is Christmas? It’s the day when the Savior of our world was born into humanity.
There is NO better reason to take time and celebrate.
And there is no better time to be aware of Him. Now is the time to put down the presents, to pause the 11th viewing of The Santa Clause, to turn away from the wishlists and gift guides, and to remember the true reason for the season.
“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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17
This whole season isn’t one of material commercialism – although society + shopping malls may disagree.
This whole season is about Love.
God showed Ultimate Love when He gave His only son to mankind – to a world riddled with sin and fault. He loves us so much, that He sacrificed His child in order to give us all a chance at something better than what we currently know and experience everyday.
Can you imagine that type of Love?
It’s mind boggling – especially in today’s mememe! society, where it can be hard to experience unconditional love. Everything is tied to something. What’s in it for me? What do I get out of it? If there’s any chance of us taking a personal “hit” in sacrifice for another, we weigh the pros and cons – we make a list, check it twice, and opt for our own good instead of another’s. And here, we have God-become-man, Jesus, who willingly opted to humble himself AND DIE, in a gift of forgiveness and grace because He loved us.
Better yet – He had no good reason to love us.
We are so flawed. We are broken and ugly inside, sinful and not always sorrowful. We turn away from God daily, with or without realizing it, choosing earthly promises instead of heavenly ones. The men who put Jesus to death literally spat in his face and taunted him while torturing him brutally. And still, He chose to forgive. He chose to love.
He chose you.
We give gifts and feel “the Christmas spirit” because it’s a time of ultimate Love and sacrifice. It’s not about the presents under the tree – it’s about why they’re there. Whether the gifts are from Walmart or Neiman Marcus, it doesn’t – and shouldn’t – matter. It’s who they’re from and why they’re there. We give as a means to show our love for each other. Our materialistic society has ingrained in us that bow-wrapped boxes are the way to go every Christmas. But this weekend and then some, I encourage you to give abundantly in unwrappable gifts. Gifts that don’t fit in a gift bag and can’t be wrapped with polka dot paper – things that don’t stuff a stocking or or quite qualify for white elephant exchange.
Giving material things is easy. With a quick run to the store (or heck, a quick click online), the shiniest and sparkliest of gadgets and gizmos shows up on your doorstep and you’re “good to go.” But giving the unwrappable? That’s harder. It takes true thought, time, choice and commitment.
I fail at this daily. I get way too caught up in my own happenings that I blatantly miss opportunities to give the unwrappable, spread Love, and show grace. I become consumed by this world’s unfulfilling promises instead of looking higher up.
And THAT is the meaning of the season.
Jesus came to fulfill every promise and spread every grace that we as humans simply fail to do.
He doesn’t fail – He never has and never will. He constantly reminds us that there is more to this life. There is more to be had and more to be lived – if only we look higher up. Our ultimate happiness is not – and cannot – be fulfilled by what’s under an evergreen tree in your living room.
Our happiness CAN be fulfilled in the evergreen Love of Christ – the evergreen spirit of joy and grace and peace that comes from Him.
THAT is the true meaning of Christmas.
Hope, peace, joy, faith, and Love that the world simply cannot give.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. And his name shall be called…Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
So this Christmas, let’s all step up, shall we? Let’s call out + celebrate the truest of true meanings for the day in our acts of kindness and goodness to make every day leading up to December 25th a little better and brighter for those around us. Call your grandparents. Buy someone’s coffee. Let people go before you in the traffic line – with a smile and wave while you’re at it. Get involved in an Operation Santa Clause to gift needy children basic essentials of life. Pay someone’s meter, give an extra hour to a friend, say “no” to something work-related to focus on people instead.
I firmly believe, this season and next, that we are called to show Love to each other as He did for us. We will NEVER come close to being as selfless and unconditional as Christ…but we are called to try with all of our might.
Let every heart prepare Him room. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
What are you doing to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas this year?
I know I’ve never written so outwardly about faith on CUR before, so I’d love to hear your thoughts and start an honest conversation. How can we better show Love in the world? The MERRIEST of Christmases, to you + yours.