A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices.
Every where I look there are decorations, perfectly lit trees, the smell of pine or cinnamon (even when it is usually coming from a spray or plug in), and evergreen.

And it feels like Christmas to me.  The kind of Christmas I grew up with.  The kind of Christmas I missed desperately when we were living overseas and sweating through 3 outfits a day. But I cannot shake this feeling that we are all missing so much of Christ at Christmas.   Experiencing something different has me wondering that in our rush, in our decorating, buying, baking, singing, gifting, dressing up, something has gotten deserpartely lost.
I cringe a bit when people say “Jesus is the reason for the season” and then we go about life as if he can be easily attached to a banner hanging in our windows or an ornament we place on our tree.  And I’m guilty of it too.  I will rush through our day and then we pause for a few minutes at the end to light candles and read His Word.  But the truth is many days I have forgotten that He was in every detail, every moment of the chaos and calm.  He will not be placed in our neat, scheduled, and organized celebrations of Christmas.  In Africa we had no outside cues, no physical reminders of our cultural idea of Christmas yet it was so much more like the first Christmas.  The lost and broken world seems to more resemble a young pregnant girl on a donkey journeying to a new and scary place.  The sweat and tears commingled with real hope and faith.  That seems to me more like what Christmas looks and smells like.

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices. 

Don’t get me wrong I love the twinkling lights and warm hot chocolate but there is more of Christ that I can miss at Christmas.  He calls us to the gut wrenching pain and the smelly barn and His overwhelming presence more than the perfectly lit tree or the poinsettias or the mounds of crinkled gift wrap.  But I know He is in that too and so we live in between two worlds.  Desperation & celebration. We rejoice because we are weary and in God’s mercy He has not left us and yet we live in a world that is broken and hurting.  He came to the reality of human poverty to demonstrate and live out the lavish riches of His grace.  I live in a body that is sinful and falls short and is longing for the full measure of restoration.  The fullness of Christ that we are promised at Christmas.  Emmanuel. God with us. Us.
That leads to rejoicing,

  1. Anonymous says:

    oh yes, it is way to hot here in the moment and no Christmas-feeling at all. Enjoy a the lights everywhere – this is so beautifull – and soon gone.