He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.
- Ephesians 2:17
As I sit here on the precipice of yet another Christmas season, I do so with fear and trembling.
I hear the Ghost of Christmas Past whispering in my ear. He reminds me of what Christmas is really like for me most of the time. He reveals my true heart, one overrun by the bustle, filled with nostalgic expectation, and enamored with visions of deals dancing in my head. I always want the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER. I mean, how can that be bad? In reality though, it’s a heavy burden that no one can bear. I just can’t manufacture it, no matter how perfect the tree is, or the gifts, or the food. So many years I turn out like Clark Griswold, hanging on to the Christmas dream even after it’s already caught fire.
I know my mistake, I can see coming around the bend even this Christmas. My Christmas dream is really about Christmas. It’s not about Christ.
I know that sounds funny, especially coming from a pastor's wife. Aren't I supposed to be like a "professional Christian" or something? But, I just get lost in the bustle. I get lost in the whole whirl of music, and people, and gifts. I think somehow those things are what it’s all about.
But, I need something more. We all do.
Perhaps more than any other time of year, I need to focus on Christ at Christmastime. Seems kinda obvious, right? But, I mean it. At the very time when I should be celebrating Jesus, I am most likely to get pulled away. I'm tempted to let the shiny things, the warm things, the jolly things meet my needs. But, only Jesus can fill me up and give me peace.
THIS IS THE TRUE CHRISTMAS DREAM: Jesus came to give peace to us who are far away from God, especially me. So, during this time of year that we celebrate the God who is near, let's actually be near to him. Let's make time to dwell with him each and every day. If we don't we're liable to get swept up in the bustle and lose track of what this season is really all about.
How can you make Jesus the focus of this season?
Where are you tempted to get caught up in the bustle of Christmas?