Did you do it? Did you get to the last week of Advent with Christmas right around the corner and deepen your love and appreciation for Christ while growing more eager by the day for His return? I really have. It’s so much easier for me now that my kids are grown and I don’t have much shopping. I’m married to a man who loves to live contrarian to the Christmas trappings, and have decided to bless my friends by not baking for them (Now that my kids are grown it is more than obvious that I am the one who decorates the Christmas cookies like a kindergartner.) Yet, even when my Christmas was more jammed packed, I found that focusing on Advent soothed my soul and led me to a joy that lasts far beyond December 25.
When I ask if Christ reigned over your advent, I’m not asking if you didn’t decorate your home in a way that it could be the set of a Hallmark Christmas movie. I’m not suggesting that the demands of parties, programs and performances didn’t fill up your time. Christ can reign over your Christmas even if you locked yourself in your bedroom for four hours on Christmas Eve to finish the wrapping. It’s not about the amount of activity or things you ended up doing. It is about the thoughts of Christ your considered, the hope, love, joy and ultimately peace you felt.
I’m actually surprised by the overflowing joy I am experiencing this Christmas. I know it is the fruit of my relationship with God. I thought I would feel extra sad this Christmas because I always want to be with family and this year it will be just us two. Still the joy, anticipation and excitement of visiting an unknown church this Christmas (My conversation with the local rector when I inquired of the time for the Christmas Eve service in advance of our attendance was priceless.) When God gave a Christmas miracle by one of my gifts getting through the red-tape was unexpected by hope-building. The side-of-the-road find of a Fisher Price play set that went along with my other gift was too perfect. It will be used and then be the gift that keeps on giving as I deliver it to Good Will in near perfect condition. Though I had planned on making very time-consuming cookies, the over-abundance of homemade treats I could never eat provided the perfect plate, to bring to the party. I’ve appreciated every card I received and felt no guilt since I no longer send them. I hope you aren’t getting jealous of my Charlie Brown Christmas because I believe you can enjoy a Hallmark Christmas with the same attitude when Christ reigns over your Christmas.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and pray blessings over your soul. I hope you are experiencing the depths of the love of Christ.