Sunday marked the beginning of Advent: the season set aside to mark the coming of Christ leading us into Christmas day, where we remember the moment that God entered humanity.
If we aren’t careful and intentional though, we’ll completely miss the season. We tend to spend our time focusing on all the wrong things at Christmas time. So many of us remark how stressful the holidays are, how much money we’ve spent, how much we need to do.
The sheer volume of stuff purchased for our “Christmas celebrations” reveals that our focus is not on Christ coming, but on things, or perhaps a nostalgic idea, and we completely ignore the very person we’re supposedly celebrating.
But materialism, empty nostalgia, a consumer mentality, and anxiety do not have to be the mark of our Christmas season. Instead, we can pause, reflect, buy less, and focus our time not an idea, nor things, but on the Emmanuel: God with us. Remembering the reality that Christ came, in the flesh to save us, that is the greatest use of our time. Don’t miss the silent night in the midst of the noise of empty celebration. Reflect on the Bread of Life when you’re stirring cookie batter, make every twinkling light a reminder that the Light of the world has broken into our darkness, make every moment about Him. Just remember.
A Christmas Poem
Here we are again,
buying mountains of things
(After all, it’s what we’ve always done)
Why again? It’s on the edge of our mind
But it keeps melting away,
like snowflakes on our tongue.
Paper flies and piles up high
like all those white flurries outside.
Anxious feasting, muttered greetings,
Now we lie in the wreckage–it vanished like a vapor.
364 days till next time!
Here he is, nestled with cows, sheep (and refuse)–
A heavenly chorus sang, “glory!”
but only poor shepherds would hear.
Here’s the King with a scandalous line,
leaving throne far above–
tearing the veil between broken and holy–
knowing another chorus would call for his blood.
No pomp at his birth, just a singular star
bringing light in the darkness.
A promise of the dawn that would come.
In a babe born to be slain.
In a King among beasts.
In God broken to save.