Monday, December 16, 2013
Once upon a time, when I was a little girl, Christmas was magical. But, as an older child, Christmas seemed like a big let down. There was so much hype about getting all the gifts. But, when the day finally came and the wrapping on the presents was ripped to shreds and the dried out evergreen was on the curb (or the artificial one back in the box), I just knew there was something lacking about it.
Later on, as a young teen, I came to know the true reason for the season:
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:9-14)
But, even though I knew and believed Christ Jesus is real and came to save me, Christmastime brought about this unmet longing after all was said and done.
What did all of it really mean? The tree, the festivities, the giving and receiving of gifts?
Maybe it's the way we celebrate that has left me wanting?
Or is it something more?
Jean Flemming, author of The Homesick Heart, says something about Christmas disconnect:
"The notion that there is something more to Christmas always seems to tremble in the background."
There's gotta be a reason for the longing in the season.
What is it that I really want, and I'm not getting?
Is there this elusive gift that I have not yet been able to receive?
Looking at advent has shed a light on my problem. I can now see that many parts of the Christmas celebration is symbolic. Christmas is a reminder that we are still in the in-between.
Christ has come, but He will come again.
This must be where the longing resides.
Through Christ, God has given us the gift of salvation, but that is only part of the gift.
He dwelt among us and after becoming a sacrifice for our sins, He went back to heaven to be with the Father (2 Corinthians 5:21, Matthew 28: 18, 19, Luke 24:45-52).
I yearn for the return of the King. Christ. The Risen One.
He is the desire of my heart and my portion forever (Isaiah 26:8, Psalm 73:26).
Christmas doesn't have to be a let down for me. For I know that because Christ was born, God in the flesh, Emmanuel...I can celebrate and wait. This can be an exciting time because I have connected what the birth of Christ means for us now and in eternity...
Salvation and restoration.
God, the Son, came to earth, as a little baby born in a manger, grew up to die on the cross, was raised back to life on the third day, was taken up to heaven, and will come again in glory.
The next part of the gift has not unfolded. Yet. Christ is yet to come, and He will restore all things that were lost after the great fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden. He will truly make all things new (Revelation 21:1-6).
It all connects.
And, when we see this, we can't help celebrating the full meaning of Christmas!
Until He comes again,