Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas is Ruined!

Image Courtesy of njaj/

Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
Isaiah 53:4 NIV

We have watched the movie Good Luck, Charlie-It's Christmas! well over 30 times in the past four years.  It's no wonder that my husband and I have integrated many of the lines from the movie into our daily conversations.
One of our favorite lines comes after the melodramatic mother, Amy, has discovered that she can't find the star for the top of the Duncan's Christmas tree.  She tearfully declares, "Christmas is ruined!"
(I've inserted the clip below in case you want to imagine us saying this in the same "melodramatic" way...)

Jeff and I will say this whenever we realize that our attitudes have gone tends to lighten the mood and gives us a chuckle.
It's occurred to me, however, that many people are feeling a little less than "Christmassy" right now, and rightly so! 
It's the first Christmas since the death of a child.
It's the first Christmas since the death of a parent.
Job loss...
Battling diseases...
Selfish and ungrateful family members who create pressure in the gift-giving process...
Traveling stresses...
No snow...
No magic...

In a world where tragedy abounds and greed runs like a river, how do we get in the Christmas spirit and NOT declare that Christmas is ruined?

Can I first suggest that we focus on the CHRISTMAS STORY...the actual events as they are recorded in the Gospels?  If we look at the story, we see the SAME things happening over 2000 years ago as they are right now. 

Mary was fearful of what was happening to her.

Joseph was frightened and confused about what was happening with his wife-to-be.

Plans were TOTALLY disrupted!

No magic-Not the beautiful setting for your "dream" Christmas.

Someone wants to KILL the BABY!

Nobody likes the presents God gets seems PERFECT to God, but the recipients don't show the enthusiasm that He would hope. 

God always plans the perfect Christmas out of love for those on earth, but many never appreciate it.

Yes, if you think Christmas is ruined...then take a look at the CREATOR of Christmas...of how the very first Christmas took place, and you can see that Christmas is ALWAYS a surprise to us-it's not OUR way, but it's GOD'S way.

The other thing I can suggest to those who need to find joy in this Christmas season is to focus on ONE thing...I had the pleasure of singing two words over and over again at church last week when I was on worship team...
Can we approach THIS REDEEMER baby with the same enthusiasm that we do the babies in our families or circle of friends?  We want to snuggle up to them, kiss their noses, feel their fingers wrap around our fingers, and hear their little baby coos.  We want to ADORE them.

And, THIS BABY, this baby is God incarnate.  This baby is the fulfillment of prophecy. 
This baby is our Messiah and Savior. 
This baby, above all, will be celebrated and adored.  Regardless of our circumstances, Christ was born for us to be saved from the bondage of our sins.  We want people to remember and celebrate our birthdays, or our children's birthdays every year...shouldn't we give Jesus AT LEAST that same respect? 
Hallelujah...Come, adore...

I know this is an "oldie" now, but it might help us come to this point of ADORATION for our Savior and Redeemer...take a listen, and see if it doesn't put you in a mood to adore Him...

Pray:  Jesus, Precious Lamb of God...You came with one purpose, TO SAVE.  Hallelujah.  We ADORE you.  Cover us with you saving blood, and make us pure and holy.  Send your Spirit into our hearts TODAY, Lord, that we may CELEBRATE in the midst of pain, and find our COMFORT in the midst of the CHAOS of this world.  We praise your holy name.  Amen.

~Tammie Hefty

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