Welcome: An Introduction

Sharing the insights I discover as I explore and experience the mystery that is our reality. Join me in my journey and share yours.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Keeping Perspective at Christmas

Sometimes this time of year bums me out a little. It's not just the overwhelming commercialism-the plastic santas, giant candy canes and smothering holly crowding out nativity scenes and overshadowing crosses. But sometimes it's the nativity scenes themselves. The pomp and circumstance us christians can give to this holiday can sometimes the meaning. The true meaning. If you think about it, Jesus was born in a humble manger, among animals and hay. He lived serving others and hung out with the poor, suffering and destitute. Yet, many churches, though some of their nativity scenes, decorations and celebrations can be strikingly beautiful and at times touching, they are also insanely expensive and one often wonders if, in that sense, sometimes the true meaing is left behind in the pursuit of glamor and glitz. Jesus was not glamorous...why should we be?...Jesus hung out with the poor...why don't we? Instead of adding flare to our celebrations perhaps funds could be used to serve the people God has called us all to serve-the brokenhearted, the poor, the needy, the sick, the suffering.
Phillipans 2:5-11 (NIV)
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
 6 Who, being in very nature God,
   did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
   by taking the very nature of a servant,
   being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
   he humbled himself
   by becoming obedient to death—
      even death on a cross!
 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
   and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
   in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
   to the glory of God the Father.
In my most recent trip to the soup kitchen I visit I remember having a conversation with the cook, mentioning that she must be getting a lot of volunteers this time of year. She said, one might think, but actually not. I was surprised. Usually this is the time of year people are most active in giving to charities and volunteering. Where are all the Christians? If every person who claimed to be a Christian followed Christ and had a servant's heart and actually served...what would our communities look like? I have a feeling they would look totally different than they do now!

As  a parent of two young children I can attest to the challenge it is to stay truly focused on the sacred meaning of Christmas. Jesus was not just a great man that came to earth to teach us things. He was God incarnate and brought with him hope, love, life and light to the world. Only his departure could be considered perhaps more precious than his entering this world, for with his departure the curtain between man and God was torn, grace and mercy rained down upon us. Only with Jesus was that possible.

No matter what the distractions we have, whether it be children, cooking dinner for family, traveling, may we all find some quiet time to reflect on what this holiday is really about and thank God for the physical and spiritual blessings He's given us. And thank God for the most precious gift of all-Jesus. And perhaps, in the hectic nature of the holiday, find some time to serve...or make plans to serve in the near future. As you bless others you also will be blessed :)

May all of you have a blessed and joy-filled Christmas :)


  1. Beautifully written, Jessica! It never ceases to amaze how God communicates to each of us in our own way. His Word never changes, yet each of us seem to translate and apply it to our lives differently. Some see hanging decorations as a testament to their joy and celebration of this season, while others see and choose to celebrate it in a more low key fashion. I'm not saying either one is right; just marveling at the beauty and grace He constantly bestows on us as we muddle through this life, doing the best that we all can. Merry Christmas, dear one :). With Love, TW

  2. Thank you so much TW for your comment :) I agree...the Spirit is awesome in its way of communicating differently through scripture and prayer to individuals. What an amazing God we have. Can't wait to check out your post :) Great blog!
    Many blessings,