There are no stockings hung by the chimney with care–we’ve no chimney or fireplace. We make it tough on Santa.
The children aren’t nestled anywhere. The grands had a sleepover Christmas Eve, and they ate enough sugar to rocket them into the new year.
The only visions any of them have is of electronics. Hang the sugarplums.
But Christmas is here, and it’s so much more than a jolly man in red.
We’ve all got perceptions of what constitutes a great Christmas. For some, it’s getting that special gift they’ve been eyeing for months. For others, it’s spending time with family and friends. There are those who just want a few days of peace and quiet in the midst of a loud life. For many it’s the sacred sweetness of remembering that this is the celebration of Emmanuel–God with us. The One who came to live among us to bring us hope.
This wouldn’t be a stellar Christmas if I looked just at logistics. Much of our family won’t be with us this year. John and I are both pretty worn out from a tough couple of months. And I kind of fell apart in the gift buying arena–translated, I didn’t do it well at all.
What’s been a wonderful “aha” moment has been the reminder that hope is the foundation of Christmas. Not just optimism, which is positive thinking. Hope is passionate trust anchored in the One who has made promises He always keeps.
It’s easy for me to lose sight of hope. I have expectations that I fully anticipate will come to fruition. My plans. My agenda.
Funny how plans can go down the tubes because someone else made a choice that didn’t fit in with mine.
My plans aren’t hope. Nor is trying to control life outcomes. That’s trying to micromanage life. Which doesn’t work.
We had friends and family over on Christmas Eve after church for a light supper and a gingerbread house contest. Who could make the best little village, given scads of candy, icing and piles of powdered sugar.
We’d cleaned the house in preparation for company. I had a plan for how this would look as the evening progressed. I’d hoped it would be orderly.
It was fun–and a royal mess. I was being optimistic in thinking I could contain that much candy intake. The hope for rich connections with family and friends happened. The plan based on control did not.
The hope that is Christmas isn’t something I can make happen by doing or being something. Christmas is hope based on a relationship with God who came to us as a Baby to fulfill a promise He’d made to redeem us from our broken lives. Jesus came at a time very much like ours today–oppression, racism, heavy taxes, entitled rulers. He came offering hope for all who would believe. Good news of great joy which would be for all the people.
No one can fully control or micromanage life completely. But I have hope in Jesus who offers me grace to live being loved fully and forgiven freely.
That’s Christmas that lasts all year.
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