Skip to main content

December 1st

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..." whether sung by Johnny Mathis or Michael Buble, its the same... Christmas is coming. In fact, as I peeled November off of my work calendar, I had to catch my breath a little. We have 25 days. That's it, folks. Are you ready? 

I will be honest... I'm not. In fact, I am really struggling this year. Let me explain why. 

A couple months ago I joined a community orchestra. Our first concert, of course, is a "holiday" concert and we are, therefore, playing nothing but "holiday" music. Because of this, I have been singing, humming, and whistling Christmas music since about mid-October. I couldn't wait for Halloween and Thanksgiving to pass us by so I could focus on Christmas! In fact, I was begging to put our tree up 2 months ago!! (I lost this battle, by the way). 

Then this happened: 

Commercials, news reports, overheard dialogue, social media and various other communications ALL focused on... you guessed it... SHOPPING and DECORATING and DEALS and all things supposedly "Christmas." This has really just made me think. A lot. 

See, I am finding myself rather disgusted lately... a bit of a Scrooge. Why do we find ourselves becoming slaves to the material world and monetary idolization? Its happening all around us! Maybe even to us! Just open your eyes! We have to have the perfect tree (or trees), we have to buy the perfect gift and will give up things that matter (i.e. time with family) to stand in line for the perfect bargain, picture-perfect home decorations, loads of gifts to spoil even those who already have so much... the list could go on and on. 

As I sit here and say really? This is what we have come to? (Its been this way for years, yes, but I am just now catching on... ) Did we forget why we celebrate Christmas? I mean, its the celebration of the birth of Jesus!! You know, the Son of God who teaches us to be HUMBLE and to serve others. The one who teaches us about focusing our attention off of our worldly desires and on to Him. 

For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. ~ 2 Peter 2:18

Nobody is perfect - I know that! We all sin. We all have desires that we shouldn't. We all do things that we know we should refrain from. I am not trying to say that how you are living and preparing for your Christmas celebration is any more right or wrong from how I am preparing for mine. I just wanted to share that I feel a bit brokenhearted that we get so swept away from what we are truly supposed to be focused on in order to seek perfection in something as insignificant as a table centerpiece.

What would happen if we all stopped shopping and instead huddled together with loved ones in prayer and fellowship, simply awaiting a feast and celebration of the anniversary of the birth of Jesus? Our minds having to focus on nothing else. Sounds peaceful, doesn't it? 

Just in case you need a reminder of what its all about, click here.

And because I want to make you all warm and fuzzy and look for what matters in your own Christmas family traditions...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Quench your thirst

In my mind, I keep coming back to this location, location, location thing.
I always used to get irritated when people would come to Florida to visit and harp on me about not having a killer tan -- as if I had all the time in the world to sit at the beach! But those who visit -- that is what they do -- visit the beach! They come into town, get a tan, and head on home to show it off.
When you live here, it is a different story. You have your daily routine that includes work, appointments, shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc. A trip to the beach has to be weaseled in. And, even then, it seems like something needs to get put on the back burner.
When you manage to squeeze it in and arrive at the beach, you can start to relax once you are able to let everything go that could've/should've/would've been done had you not decided to head east. The smell of the salty air, the crashing of the waves, the sand between your toes, and the smiles on everyone's faces... why don't we do th…

If today is your last...

Have you ever really thought about the fact that we may not be here next week? Tomorrow? By 9:00 pm tonight? We don't know when we are going to get called home -- we just know that we will one day. It is inevitable. 
And then there are those who sorta get a heads up... say you fall ill and your doctor tells you that you only have a small window of human life left in you. Or, maybe you hear a small voice or get a feeling that your time to head home is coming... 
Think about it: You hear the words, "Good morning, <insert your name>, today is your last day to live on earth." What would you do? How would you react? 
Something tells me some folks may begin rushing around in a panic trying to quickly pack everything into 24-hours that they didn't take the time to do before now. All those things on the bucket list -- the sky diving, the traveling, seeing your favorite football team play live, trying to finish the kitchen sink ice cream challenge, singing a solo at church…

This could be you

Lets talk hypothetical situations for a minute, shall we? You are walking down the street. You see a man sitting on the ground, his back against a building. Upon first glance, you notice his disheveled appearance, worn clothing, and the grungy backpack sitting close to him. What is your first thought? When you see his face, what or who do you see?
This is where I am learning people differ. And I apologize in advance for my bit of a rant... 
Recently, I was reading the book of Job. If you are not familiar with his story, Job was a good, faithful man who had done well in life. In my version of the bible (NLT), he is referred to as "blameless." Satan approached God and wanted to test Job's faith. God told him that he could test him in any manner he wanted, but to spare his life. During this process, Job lost all his children, his sheep, camels, oxen, donkeys, servants, etc. His body was covered in boils from head to toe. His spirits were down, but his faith never faltered. 
Ho…