I’ve had a hard time this year getting into the Christmas spirit. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been sick and so I am drained by the time I get home in the evenings, or if it’s because I’ve lost a little of my faith this year. The wonder and grace that this holiest of seasons normally holds for me seems to be lost this year in the hustle and bustle of work, worry and weariness. I know that part of the reason is because I am choosing to let the world creep in to what should be a spiritual time, and I know that I also am still grieving the loss of my mom in 2010, but those are just excuses. And poor ones at that. I’m choosing to not “be still” as God directs us and I’m choosing to not spend time in prayer and study because I am ashamed of how I have allowed this year to take a toll on my faith and my belief.
But why? I have so much to be thankful for and so much to rejoice over. I shouldn’t be questioning the wonder of the season or the majesty of the birth, but rather I should be embracing the gift that is Jesus Christ our Lord. I see Him all around me. I experience His grace every day. Yet now, when I should be rapt with joy and proclaiming the Messiah, I find my mouth stilled and my written words scarce.
I know the answer to why. I just don’t want to take the time to deal with the answer to the question. I hear God speaking to me, tugging on my heart strings, pleading with me to be who He wants me to be, but I resist. I know He has a plan for me (Jeremiah 29:11) and I know He wants me to be content (Philipians 4:12) but I can’t see or feel either and that is why I can’t get ready for Christmas this year. Avoidance is something I do well. It’s something the Father deals with me on daily.
And, so, I cry out to Him “Father, forgive my unbelief.” Christmas is the most special time of the year. This Christmas I want to find my way back to the wonder of the season without the need for presents under a tree or more food on my table than any one family should have. I want to find the wonder of Christmas in the Christ of Christmas. Only this, and nothing more.
Will you join me? Starting tomorrow I am going to begin to post “The Twelve Gifts of Christmas”, something I wrote a year or so ago. My prayer is that reliving the words and rereading the scripture will help me find Him again this Christmas. I hope you’ll join me.