Preparing our hearts.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Christmas season is well upon us.  And I love it all - the lights, the snow, the jingle bells, the hot cocoa, the cookies, the sparkly trees, the exchanging of gifts, the family traditions - it's by far one of my favorite holidays.  

But I love Christmas the most because it's a time to reflect, to celebrate that Jesus came to Earth as a baby - for me, for you, for us.  The season is not just about gifts and consumerism or cookies and cocoa - but about the way God came down, in the most humble of ways, and made Himself man, so that He could save us, redeem us, offer us grace upon grace upon grace.  

The last few days have been filled with heavy stuff.  From national news to personal struggles.  And there is this part of me that just aches and breaks and wants to shut my little family in our house and try to hide away from all that attempts to tear us down, apart, away. 

But that is not the answer.

I pray I don't forget that this world is not our home.  And that Jesus has promised that He is our peace, and that in Him, we can rest secure.  

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." John 16:33 (ESV)

I guess what I am trying to say is that I feel like the events of the past few days have really reminded me how much we need Jesus.  And how much Christmas needs to be about him, focused on him, directed on the wee babe in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes.  

So we will continue preparing our hearts.  Reading our Jesus book each night, lighting the way through advent readings and candles.  We will spend time talking about why we celebrate Christmas and why we give gifts.  We will do meaningful family activities, finding joy in spending time together.  We will continue to teach our kids that it's not about Santa or reindeer or snowmen, but about a meek child, born to a virgin girl, in a smelly stable. 

And I pray that through these next few weeks, I would be constantly shifting my gaze back to Jesus; the One who came to be with us.   

O come, o come Emmanuel.  

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