“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus…”
I’ve heard the story again and again.
Mary and Joseph.
A star and a stable.
Shepherds and angels.
It all happened in those days.
That was then, but this is now.
Like those Charlie Brown voices—I hear the sounds but not the words.
The familiar rhythm of an old story can put. me. right. to. sleep.
I’m ready to wake up.
The Christmas story is all about those days, but I want to know about these days.
These days of stress and struggle.
Of pushing and pulling.
Of loss and longing.
Yesterday, I felt Christmas.
The shopping was done. The meals were prepared. The gifts had been purchased. The deadlines were met.
But today, Christmas slipped from my hands.
In an instant I let the world steal it away with its demands and questions and worries about the future.
In these days, we are desperate for an ancient story to be brought back to new life.
But sometimes in order to move forward, we must first go back.
A story means nothing if you don’t know how it started.
This one started in a garden, not a stable.
With the birth of sin, not of a Son.
With us moving away from God before He would make His move toward us.
How easily we forget that the need in those days was just as great as our need in these.
And so it wasn’t just some gift haphazardly given.
It was the One desperately needed.
The One we still need…in these days.
These December days of preparation have much less to do with baking, and shopping,
and opening gifts;
and much more to do with resting, and worshipping, and opening our hearts.
Christmas isn’t a feeling. It’s the foundation.
The world was ready for a Savior. Not because it was well-prepared, but because it was well-worn, threadbare, unraveling at the seams—and so He came.
The refrigerator, full of food. The closet, full of clothes. The tree, surrounded with gifts. Even the blanket that I curl up underneath—they all provide a false sense of being ‘ready’ to celebrate a day that changed the world forever.
I felt Christmas yesterday.
But today is better.
Today, I need Christmas.
When the feelings are gone, and we are left with the reality of this fickle, fleeting life; we grow desperate for Christmas. We grow desperate for the perfect peace that can only be found in the One whose Heavenly Being breathed human breath.
Suddenly, the stale and heavy air around me is sweet enough to breathe in again, and I am no longer suffocating. I’m letting go of the Christmas I have tried to create and grabbing hold of the one created for me; in me.
My head prepares the plans.
My hands prepare the meals.
But our hearts prepare the throne.
Come, Lord Jesus come.
We are desperate for You, our King.
To be born unto us.
To rule within us.
In this place.
In these days.
What are some ways you can intentionally pursue peace in the midst of this busy holiday season?
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Beautifully written, Elizabeth. All we need is Jesus. Amen.
Thank you Debra! Yes…so simple and sweet. Xoxo
Oh Elizabeth how I love this! Christmas is indeed “the foundation.”
Thank you Sharon! Have the merriest Christmas! Xoxo