Jesus is the reason for the season.
At this very moment, I am also very aware of the daily balance between being in the world but not of the world. The struggle between being content with what I can do, what I want to do, and what the world beckons me to do is real.
But this is a year-round struggle, if I’m honest. The contrast seems highlighted all the more right now in this season of Advent. I spend the early hours of the morning in quiet time, reading my bible and Advent devotional. My heart swells with the coming of Jesus. It yearns for the pure life that John the Baptist tells us is possible with repentance and baptism. I imagine myself in that stable, beholding.
O, come, O, come, Emmanuel.
I want to live in that perpetual state of beholding, of confessing, of receiving His grace and gentleness and purity. And because I long so much, because I’ve lived heartbeats in those moments of pure unadulterated joy with Him, it is so clear to me when I have shifted into the frantic, frenzied life.
And then the guilt overwhelms. I chastise myself and read all the proclamations of Jesus is the reason for the season! as condemnations that I am not doing Advent or Christmas the right way.
But what if that’s the very point?
In the moment of frustration over feeling and doing and rushing, there are choices in how to proceed:
a) Keep trying to accomplish the worldly agenda.
b) Feel continuously guilty for even entertaining a worldly agenda.
c) Admit I need a Savior, whose arrival I just so happen to be celebrating.
We try to give so much during the Christmas season, don’t we? Give to our family, give to the poor, give to our friends. We give material gifts, gifts of time, gifts of food, gifts of thoughtfulness. We go out of our way to give, so much so, that I think we forget what it means to receive.
Yes, I am sure many of us will receive gifts this season, but for me to make it through without guilt – guilt over doing too much or not enough – I have to remember that God sent a Savior for me to receive from Him daily. If I were able to do Christmas perfectly, in the worldly and the spiritual sense, I wouldn’t need the very Person I celebrate.
Perhaps we can celebrate the imperfect together, sisters? Perhaps we can celebrate our weaknesses and our failures just as much as our triumphs and successes (or maybe even more) all because it shows how much God knows we need Him. What deep amount of love He has for us to give us such extraordinary gifts in a small human form, gifts that continually keep our path to relationship with Him free and clear and accessible.
The star on top of my Christmas tree has been crooked for about a week now. It lists to the side and the world in me whispers every day to just fix it already.
But I don’t.
I don’t because I need tangible reminders that tell me that imperfect is okay – the star still shines bright when it’s connected to the source, as do I.
So even if you’re a little off-kilter, even if you feel like things are askew and crooked, it’s okay. Because we need God to make things straight. And knowing this? This is what makes us different from the world. This is what keeps us tethered when everything is falling to pieces.
This is what reminds us why we need a Savior in the first place.
God wanted to do something so strange, so utterly beyond the bounds of human imagination, so foreign to human projection, that God had to resort to angels, pregnant virgins, and stars in the sky to get it done. We didn’t think of it, understand it or approve it. All we could do, at Bethlehem, was receive it. A gift from a God we hardly even knew.” – William Willimon
On Wednesday, Lisa has a timely post for us about missions right here at home. How is the area around you like a mission field? How is it similar and different from leaving for a far away mission trip? After reading, you will sure to be inspired to find a way to be missional, perhaps even in your own neighborhood.
On Friday, we begin our Christmas break! We will begin gathering in the New Year on January 4th. Merry Christmas and happy New Year!
We are scheduling SDG Connections posts for January 2016! Please pray about and considering sharing your story with us! Click here for details.
2016 4th SDG Retreat
2016 SDG Retreat Information & Registration is LIVE! Click here for more details. EARLY BIRD PRICING ENDS TOMORROW!