Title: Gather Around Christ This Christmas
Date: December 14, 2021
As we find ourselves in the busiest season of the year, it is so easy to lose sight of its true meaning. As we get older, and especially as women, our to-do list can at times be quite overwhelming during the Christmas season…decorating, shopping, sending cards, cooking and baking, hosting, gathering and school/church programs! These are all things that are fun, however all at once and crunched into a short amount of time can suck some of the joy out of them!
It’s easy to not necessarily forget whom we are celebrating, but we just don’t have the time to truly enjoy why we are! I had a moment the other day that took me back in time and was truly a Christmas gift. As my husband and I were in the car on a long ride, he sweetly turned on some of my favorite music. It’s my favorite because it’s what I grew up on. The familiar voices and Christmas melodies of Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra get me every time!
As I closed my eyes and listened, I was momentarily swept away to a time over fifty years ago. I could almost smell my mom’s cooking, the familiar scents of our traditional Christmas meal. I could see her in her red and frilly fancy Christmas apron, with my dad scurrying about singing to the music playing loudly on our stereo.
As I thought upon this familiar and inviting scene, I recalled a little girl all dressed up in an elegant taffeta dress her aunt had sewed for her. I could see her sitting under a beautifully decorated silver tinseled tree as if it were yesterday. Mesmerized by the twinkling lights and mostly by the nativity scene carefully placed under the tree, she sat there soaking it all in, anticipating the soon to be family festivities…And yes of course the presents!
That little girl was me. I still anticipate those wonderful things; however, my idea of the perfect presents has changed over the years. A simple gesture from my husband, who by the way probably wouldn’t consider those old songs his favorite kind of music, turned them on just for me… and that small gesture is now quickly becoming my favorite gift this year! God shows up in the sweetest of details, doesn’t He? Even in the depths of our far-off distant memories…
This is the season that holds the most traditions and memories for us. Our Heavenly Father created this celebration of Christmas to honor His Son’s birth and we celebrate it by being together. The word Christmas means to “gather around Christ!” Even if someone found himself alone this Christmas, gathering himself in Christ’s presence is the best gift of all! Like an old familiar song says, “Come and adore Him” and let Him flood our minds with sweet memories of old and anticipation of new ones ahead!
And as we adore the Christ child, may we not just mindlessly sing these phrases, but take the invitation… Jesus simply says, just come and adore Me. Why? Because He loves us so much! In fact, He is the one who unconditionally adores US! He wants to fill our minds with childlike wonder. In a sense He has so many gifts under the tree waiting for us, gifts carefully thought out and beautifully wrapped by His adoring hands. Some small… some big! He so wants us to be like a child waiting with great anticipation. He desires for us to love the life He’s given us, the spirit of giving He’s put inside us, and the everyday joy of worshiping our King, the one and only true gift that never stops giving!
I do want to add that I understand that for many this time of year holds heartache and sadness. It can cause loneliness, stress and anxiety. If this is you or someone you know, I pray God will bring them a gift. I pray the Lord can quiet their minds long enough to take them back in time to a memory that blesses their heart. Rather than memories bringing sadness, may they consider instead how much their memories can bring great joy and gladness! I pray as snow can fall gently from the sky, so God’s spirit can rest upon their souls as they recall their own Christmas traditions.
So may we take a few moments and unwrap all of what the Lord has in store for us…for we have EVERYTHING we need through Him. Just as the Wise Men followed the bright and shining star thousands of years ago, let it remain our reminder that Jesus is our shining star, our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Emmanuel…. God with us!
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call His name Emmanuel.
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.
You make known to me the path of life. You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Adoring our Lord and Savior simply means we come to Him. We cast all our cares aside when we cuddle up close to our Father. We experience His loving and personal care for us when we become like little children, fully reliant on our caretaker. Scripture tells us in Luke 18:17, “Truly I say to you whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” With that in mind may our yielding attitudes unleash His peace, His goodness and blessings as we come to Him and say, “Father I adore you.”
As that old song continues, I pray we can all come to Him as a “faithful, joyful and triumphant” people, fully grasping and remembering ALL His goodness He so graciously bestows upon us in a fallen world. And when that sweet baby who was born in a manger comes back as our King of Kings and Lord of Lords and professes to us His adoration, all of God’s grateful children will say Hallelujah and AMEN!
Merry Christmas to you! Enjoy every sweet memory and gift of God’s wonder this year… and may you all have a truly happy and best New Year ever!
Delighting in safe pasture,