And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7 ESV)
Christmas concerts, dinners, banquets, parties . . . and of course, shopping. December can just about make my Google calendar crash with all the entries and reminders. Yet I absolutely love the Christmas season. All of it. I just wish I could actually be home to enjoy it.
Years ago, when we lived in a small town, we had an advent wreath. Every evening, we would light it and gather to read from a favorite advent devotional. The excitement grew as the candles shrunk . . . meanwhile, a perfect and majestic white candle sat untouched in the middle of the greenery. Christmas morning, we would gather to light all four candles, and finally, the center Light of Christmas. I don’t know honestly how much it meant to my children, but I loved that moment. It was silence and reflection before all the chaos broke out.
These days, I still pull out the wreath, and I still buy new candles. The advent book is left next to the display for whoever happens to be home and would like to read or light the advent candles. Rarely are all four of us home for a moment of worship together. It used to frustrate me, but I’m learning to let go of impossible traditions. I still find time to curl up next to the soft lit candles and have quiet, intimate times of worship and reflection. Such sweet peace.
Ladies, we need to not pound on traditions, trying to keep them alive. As our families grow and change, some things we just need to tuck close to our hearts and keep to ourselves. Mary “treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” . . . not everything we treasure has to be shared.
The question to ask is, are we embracing the Christ of Christmas or are we so busy meeting our agendas that we put a big X where Christ should be? Let’s take some time tonight to light a candle or two, not in religiosity or just for tradition, but to quiet ourselves in honor of Jesus. Let’s sit and worship the One who gave all to us. Oh that we will find room in our hearts and schedules for Him. Make room for the King!
Father, forgive us for making family traditions more important than true worship of You. Help us to keep things in perspective and to pass on the Truth of the gift of Your Son to those we share this season with. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
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