Christmas can only be found. Christmas cannot be bought. Christmas cannot be created. Christmas cannot be made by hand, lit up, set out, dreamed up. Christmas can only be found. In the creche. In the cradling trough. In the mire and in the stench and in the unexpected - and only in the dawning of Christ.
Our God who cradles whole inking galaxies in the palm of His hand, whom highest heavens cannot contain - He folds himself into our skin, and He uncurls His newborn fingers in the cradle of a barn feeding trough...and we are saved from ourselves. We are saved from our loneliness because God is love and He can't stand to leave us by ourselves, to ourselves.
That is the message of Christmas. The message of Christmas is that this world's a mess and we can never save ourselves from ourselves and we need a Messiah. (by Ann Voskamp)
I read these words on Saturday morning with tears streaming down my face and with a heart full of restlessness that was finally finding its peace. Christmas sometimes tends to bring out the worst in people. Either that or it sometimes brings out some funk and discomforts. Even in the midst of "good tidings and cheer" we find ourselves drowning in the need to catch up to one another, measure up to the person next to us or we find ourselves miserable at the end of the day from failed expectations and intentions. I too find myself guilty of this. These feelings had me thinking. Why all this fuss? Why all this rush? This isn't what the season is about. This season isn't about how many fresh baked goodies you take to your friends and to your neighbors. It isn't about how pretty your packages are packaged (though I LOVE me some pretty packaging). It isn't about the gifts, the music or the parties. It's deeper then that.
As I read these words on Saturday and as I read them to my husband I choked on the words and my eyes spilled over with hot achy tears. How many years have I missed this? I know that THIS is the meaning of Christmas and THIS is why we celebrate. But, in that moment, I found myself grieving over my own lack of actually celebrating the GREATEST gift that has ever been given. The one gift that promises redemption and salvation from ourselves. The one gift that promises a new beginning, hope and peace. I grieved the days lost not celebrating the greatest gift I have been given.
Christmas is not in our things, our gifts or what is hung on our trees or sitting properly beneath them.
I love what Ann said in the paragraph above...Christmas can only be found. I want to find Christmas and celebrate it to the full. I want my family to find. To find and to hold onto it tightly.
image via Pinterest