For many, the words “Christmas” and “simplicity” would never be uttered in the same sentence. They are foreign to one another. For most, the best word to describe Christmas is stressful. But …
For many, the words “Christmas” and “simplicity” would never be uttered in the same sentence. They are foreign to one another. For most, the best word to describe Christmas is stressful. But deep down I think most of us yearn for a different kind of Christmas, one of simplicity that fills us with joy and wonder. We just don't know how or where to find it. How does a weary world rejoice?
So this has been my pursuit for the last couple weeks - not only for this column but for my own personal quest. I long for a simpler, less stressful holiday since this has been a very stressful year in general. I long for the wonder of peace and the beauty of this season that stills and calms our anxious hearts.
I read that simplicity isn't a matter of circumstances, but a matter of focus. That made a lot of sense to me. Our focus is usually on our circumstances. And at Christmas, most of those circumstances tend to center around what we think we need to do. We focus on the gifts, the food, the family times. We overcommit and become trapped in others' expectations for us.
When we put our hope in things and circumstances, we can easily lose hope when it doesn't go as planned. We're not meant to find hope in anything in this world, but our hope and focus must be on the Christ of Christmas, Emmanuel, God with us.
Jesus didn't just come for those who are living a joy-filled life of Christmas bliss. He came for those who are buried in darkness - those desperate for help out of the chaos and longing for even a little ray of hope. Christmas is much deeper than all the merry and bright. It reaches into the dark shadows of our lives where we are weary and discouraged, heavy laden with a load of care. Jesus came to set us free from the despair that is choking out our joy and peace.
Our lives are so full that we're not even aware when Jesus shows up around us. We must incorporate moments of stillness into the busyness so we can live from a place of peace and rest. Make room for the Lord and let Him quiet you with His love. With the Psalmist we can say, “I have calmed and quieted myself” (Psalm 131:2).
Jesus shows us the way in Mark 6:31 when He says to his disciples, “Let's go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He also tells us in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
When your life is over, only one thing will matter: Did you get to know the Son of God? The extra Christmas presents you bought won't matter. All the time spent preparing the perfect holiday meal won't matter. The only thing that will matter is if you made time for Jesus, time to know and love Him. Unwrap the Greatest Gift of all time and make room for Him in your heart and life.
Hope Ministries is a Christian counseling center, and we are here to help. If you would like to speak confidentially with someone, give us a call at 482-5300.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here