I can’t help but remember how I felt last year at this time.
Overly sad and alone. On the verge of tears whenever I stopped long enough to think. Maybe that’s how you’re feeling this Christmas.
I wrote in my journal: “Not like me to be like this and I can’t quite put my finger on what’s happening. I miss Texas terribly. I miss all my children and their children and their children’s children. When we’re all together it’s noisy and wonderful and everyone is clamoring for a voice above the others. But we seldom get good conversations about life and feelings toward one another. It’s hard to latch on to quality in a crowd.”
I went on to realize that it wasn’t only that. I think we’re all longing for home. I want life to be perfect, to be peaceful all the time, for problems and divisions and issues between us to be gone. I realize that isn’t possible in this life but Christmastime seems to create the longing for it above all other seasons.
The cottages with snow falling on cedars, the roaring fireplaces surrounded by people dressed in plaids and black velvet drinking champagne and laughing, the candlelight services with hope reflected on young faces as they listen to the music, the tree beneath which are extravagant gifts. We are assaulted with these images in magazines, television, mail, and past expectations.
But my heart knows the truth – these things do not quell the ache inside because they are part of a world through which we journey, but not a place that we call home. It’s a place that is fading away. We want so much more than those Hallmark moments, we want the restoration of our hearts to the Son of God – our manifestation as the sons and daughters, the Bride of Christ.
Last week Bob and I made a trip to Atlanta for a small reunion of old college friends. It was the epitome of a dream weekend with great food, lots of hugs and laughter, singing together the old songs from Christian Youth Ranch and sharing our lives. So many stories of pain, overcoming extreme difficulties, and all the times we’ve been able to bring others to the knowledge of Jesus’ love.
Our last evening, our friend Buzz, took us on a tour of homes decorated for Christmas in his area. It was a clear, cold night and the silvery full moon shone down on homes with snowmen, lights galore, nativity scenes, elves, Santa in his sleigh, and music.
My first thought was to wonder, as I do every year, “How have we gotten away from the whole meaning of Christmas? The real meaning?”
But then the thought came that if Jesus hadn’t come, there wouldn’t be all the decorations, music and lights. There wouldn’t even be St. Nicholas. It would all be dark. A cold month.
So when reminders like this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H965m0Hkk5M come across your Facebook page, or as a Twitter post, or you receive a Christmas card, or hear carols playing at Macy’s–smile, let your heart be glad. His coming changed the whole-wide world.
The celebration – whether everyone realizes it or not – is all about Him!
We ache for the Christ and at Christmas we await Him once more, even more deeply than those shepherds or Wise Men. We’ve experienced Him. We know what we’re missing. I don’t think they did.
Think what this means for you.
Life is not magazine perfect but Jesus came to bring you peace. Even in the chaos of Christmas. It’s the only place we can call home – for now.