Thursday, December 17, 2009


For a number of years now, the Lord has been exposing Gary’s and my true heart regarding how we celebrate Christ’s birth. Each year, it seems He reveals more and more of our activities which really have little significance to the true purpose of Christ. We’ve relinquished the desire to spend more than we should or fret over finding the perfect gift. We’ve recognized that no one on our gift list truly needs more. We’ve given up the frenzied attempts to decorate every corner of our home, bake cookies for every neighbor and prepare the picture perfect holiday meal. We no longer get anxious over our holiday greetings not being ready before the arrival of the New Year. The Lord continues to show us that celebrating Christ isn’t about all the “Christmas” activity.

After chipping away over the years on those more external things, our Lord has begun to expose an even deeper level of concern. We’re seeing that our very definition of “Christmas” has been built upon things we hold even more dear to our hearts, such as our tendency to look to others to make “the celebration” complete. We recognize thoughts such as, “It doesn’t really feel like Christmas if we can’t celebrate it with family.” It is at this level where we begin to ask, “Lord, what more can You take away. Isn’t this what Christmas is all about?”

It is here where Christ’s Spirit has begun to show us that celebrating His birth is about nothing and no one else, except Him. It is about being willing to stand alone before Him – everything stripped away. We don’t like that much. We don’t want to see ourselves as we truly are, let alone willingly “show it to God”. Yet this is what celebrating Christ is truly about. In fact, this is the only way to rightly celebrate His birth. To stand before God, the Son, with every obstacle removed, separated from every distraction and to see ourselves as we truly are.

Only then will we see how desperately we need Him, our Savior.

Only then will we truly know how to celebrate the real purpose in the coming of the Christ Child.

Only there, at His manger, will we truly come and receive His love.

Who among us will celebrate Christmas right?
Those who finally lay down all their power, honor, and prestige.
All their vanity, pride and self-will
at the manger,
those who stand by the lowly and let God alone be exalted,
those who see in the child in the manger the glory of God
precisely in this lowliness.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The Mystery of Holy Night

It is my prayer that the Lord will richly bless you and those you love with a deep awareness of His love. May your hearts be turned toward the Christ Child for peace & strength in the days to come and may His Holy Spirit deliver unto you a clear understanding of His will for your lives.


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