Nutcracker. Candy canes. Red felt stockings. Scrooge. Iced sugar cookies. Glittering trees. Shopping. Some of us see, smell, taste, hear, and feel Christmas, while others do not. Holiday nostalgia depends on personal experience, but when we invite God into Christmas, perspective can change.
My favorite childhood Christmas season resulted from a massive ice storm that hit our small town a few weeks before Christmas Day. A glittering layer of ice encased each limb and slender twig on the bare trees. The concrete-hard ground didn’t yield to our snow boots as my brother and I crunched our way to friends’ homes. Cars and semi-trucks inched along the country backroads and county highways. And to our great delight, school was canceled. However, all plans related to Christmas halted as well: bake sales, choir practices, play rehearsals, parties, and band performances.
With no electricity, we lit lanterns. With no heat, we placed warmed rocks from the fireplace at the bottom of the bed for our cold feet. Neighbors shared food and water. We played board games by candlelight.
And Christmas Day? It came quietly, as the first Christmas did when Jesus was born in a lonely manger. No pomp or pageantry . . . just peace. And it was lovely. I don’t remember our family’s food selection for Christmas dinner, but we were together.
Paul offers a summary of Jesus’ purpose in coming to earth. As our redeemer, Jesus allows us to be forgiven and adopted into God’s family. Further, the Spirit prompts us to call the Creator of the universe “Daddy” (Abba). There’s more. When we’re God’s child through faith in Jesus Christ, He promises to give us an inheritance. Whatever our family of origin looks like, Jesus Christ offers us a new family and eternal treasures.
Christmas nostalgia can weigh us down like a heavy blanket. Even good memories can sadden us when we think of those we’ve lost to death or distance. Is it time for a new perspective on the baby born in Bethlehem?
As you read the Bible and learn about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, let God show you how Christmas preparations and celebrations can shine in the present, rather than be enshrined in the past.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)