Insights from Ingrid: The Reason for the Season
I used to be that mother who had a to-do list for every category of Christmas – decorations, wrapping paper (homemade, only!), Christmas cookies (30 different flavors!), parties, gift-exchanges, teacher gifts, caroling and outreach, and oh, the traditions.
I admit to a lot of crying.
I finally wised up and realized two things. No one liked the crying, and…less is more! Fewer decorations meant less clean up later (and more to focus on instead of clutter!)
Fewer cookies meant we picked the ones we liked.
Fewer events meant more time at home, reading a great Christmas book (can I suggest my author friend Susan May Warren’s newest story about our family, Evergreen?)
Fewer outreach events meant better attitudes for the ones we attended/arranged.
Less is more.
And simplifying leads to cherishing. To discovering and savoring that which really matters.
So, in that theme, this month we’re going to talk about simplifying and surviving the chaos with the goal of savoring the season!
Let’s start with the MAIN THING: Why we’re gathered here today…The Reason for the Season.
I’m going to say something controversial here. . .
I love Jesus. I love Christmas. And I love being a Christian.
But I don’t have to put Jesus into every Christmas tradition. I don’t have to wrap a story into the Christmas tree about Jesus dying on a “tree.” I don’t have to limit presents to “three” because the wise men gave Jesus three. I don’t have to tell a story about a candy cane and how it tells the gospel story (although, admittedly, that’s kind of cool), or even take down my stockings in front of the hearth just because Santa is not Biblical. I can focus on Jesus without having to imbue every tradition with spiritual significance.
Because Jesus has given LIFE significance.
Jesus isn’t just here at Christmas – he’s among us, in my life every day. And perhaps our perspective shouldn’t be how do we add significance to our celebration of Christmas, but rather how does Christmas help us cherish the significance of Christ, of Immanuel, here with us?
I don’t have to reach for significance in an Evergreen tree when I see the beauty of it against a white snowfall. I see God’s creativity. Faith, hope and love enduring.
I don’t have to reach for significance when I hear a holiday song, even if it’s secular song because I’m reminded of my family. And eternity. And the joy we have in the body of Christ.
Christ puts significance into the Christmas season. We don’t put significance into Christmas.
Simplifying and Cherishing means I can celebrate Christmas every day. Celebrate the gift of knowing Christ, personally. Sitting down for a moment to read my Bible, to pray, and praise. To worship Christ as if it is Christmas morning, wondering anew at this miracle, every single sunrise.
So, here’s an idea. This Christmas, as you prepare, look for Jesus in the everyday. Find him. Thank him. Worship him. Your Immanuel is with you.
Has Immanuel shown up in your life today? Share your joy!
Thanks for reading!