When I was growing up, I loved traditions at Christmas. Lights, recipes, songs... all coming together into one magical experience. As I grew, it was harder to bring every tradition into every Christmas season. I remember one year, I went to Christmas service and the pastor spoke about letting this Christmas be what it is. What is this Christmas to us? Is it a mix of gift and grief? Are we welcoming new things or saying goodbye to things passing?
This year has been different, and I am re-deciding to let it be what it is. We have had some illness, job stress, health issues... Is this what the people felt in Israel when Jesus was born?
I am asking myself, "What does God want to be for me this Christmas?" He is coming to be born into my life. Is He coming as my Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, or Prince of Wholeness? I am asking Him. I am inviting Him in. I am letting Christmas be what it is this year... God is coming to the land of deep shadows.
Isaiah 9:1-7 (excerpts)
The Message (MSG)
A Child Has Been Born—for Us!
But there’ll be no darkness for those who were in trouble...The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. For those who lived in a land of deep shadows— light! sunbursts of light!...For a child has been born—for us! the gift of a son—for us! He’ll take over the running of the world.His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God,Eternal Father,Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow,and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.