I haven’t written in a while.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. I said that last time. And potentially the time before.
But let’s not get into that now…
It’s Christmas and I’ve had a few thoughts that I felt might be worth sharing…
This Christmas, I’ve probably felt less ‘christmassy’ than I have in a long time – as in, if you came to my house right now, you’d be forgiven to forget it’s Christmas – bar the naked tiny attempt of a christmas bush (it doesn’t even deserve being called a tree) standing on my kitchen counter. Which, I haven’t actually bought, I got given it. And I had all intentions of buying decorations but it just never happened. Other things were more important to me.
(I pause here to give you an opportunity to express your disgust and confusion and maybe even the chance to call me the Grinch)
The funny thing is though, I am not at all the Grinch. Not anymore. I used to not like Christmas – to be honest I don’t even remember why. I just didn’t like it very much, didn’t care much for decorations, christmas markets, carols, santa and the lot.
Then I had a couple of years of semi-excitement around the holidays until this year, yet again, I found myself not being too bothered at all.
Now don’t worry, this is not a sad post about why I don’t care for that stuff.If you know me at all, you know I like a good challenge and so this year, I challenged myself.
I challenged myself to find my very own ‘reason for the season’.
And surprise surprise, I came back to the basics.
If you asked me if all the fanfares, flashing lights and songs around Christmas excite me, my answer will be ‘no’.
Not if it’s fanfare for fanfares sake. If you tell me however, that all these things can have a purpose, can create a world that might remind us – humanity – of who we really are, who we belong to and what really matters, then my answer will be ‘yes please’.
So here’s where I got to with my challenge:
I remember that I never graduate from basics. That the magic of anything is not in it being complicated, but in it being very very simple – so simple it’s almost too good to be true.
We never graduate from basic TRUTH when it comes to working out this thing called a relationship with God.
The basic TRUTH that is Christ, born into the human mess (my mess), the human brokenness (my brokenness). Born into all the shortcomings and wrongdoings of humanity.
The basic TRUTH that is Christ crucified – my failings, shame, guilt, everything I have ever done wrong and will ever be doing wrong NAILED to the cross.
The basic TURTH that is Christ resurrected – my saviour overthrown the rule of death, the gap between me and my divine Father bridged, the access granted, paving the way – no, BEING the way to a life on the inside (and outside) I could’ve never EVER imagined.
Peace that surpasses all understanding and calms every storm.
Love that covers every shortcoming in me and walks out my salvation and transformation with me.
Hope that becomes expectation that there is GOOD, there is BEAUTY and there is TRUTH.
Maybe, if I’m really honest, I do remember why I didn’t like Christmas: the outward celebrations didn’t line up with the internal state of my being.
So now, though stylistically I’ll probably never be a massive fan, INTERNALLY, my soul sings for joy a bit louder every year about the fact that she’d have yet another opportunity to remember who she is, where she has come from and will return to, and who it is who has rescued her into this light. I just had to remind her.
So this Christmas, I will embrace the stuff, using it as an opportunity to do just that.
And maybe – just maybe, I get the chance to invite someone along on the way.
I will pray for the grace to accept the greatest gift ever – JESUS and all he has done for me – afresh every day.
I pray for the grace to no longer be surprised by my mess but focus instead on remembering.
Remembering that his grace qualifies me every time – even when I disqualify myself.
Have a Merry Christmas everybody.
Wherever you are, however you celebrate.
I pray you’d remember.