Well, I’ve procrastinated long enought in writing a Christmas Post. I wasn’t sure how to say what I wanted to say. Yes, we participated in the stereotypical American Christmas Experience: Santa, presents, food…lots of food. I was not in the “Christmas Spirit” as many would say. I had a difficult time shopping and I know some people had a hard time shopping for me too. I just didn’t want to immerse myself in the hustle and bustle of buying junk that no one will care about in a month.
I have spent a lot of time thinking about how I wanted to reprioritize the important things in my life and Christmas, as it is usually celebrated, wasn’t very high on the list. I don’t want to devote any more time to things that will not make an eternal difference. I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy my Christmas, I most certainly did. But it wasn’t the giving or receiving that made my day. Matt Chandler, the Lead Pastor of The Village Church, gave me a clarity that I hope will endure through the coming years. In his sermon “Substance over Shadow“, Matt explained how so many of us try to hold on to the shadows of Christmas: gifts, parties, food, etc. These things are not necessarily bad, they are just a shadow of the true meaning of Christmas: Jesus. When we hold on to Him, all of the things in the shadow are even more spectacular.
I want Christmas to mean more than just Santa, presents, and food. This year, I think I began to capture the true “Christmas Spirit”. I spent a lot of time talking with Miranda and encouraging the Jesus aspect of this season. We talked about the importance of giving and receiving gifts. We still included Santa in our celebrations, but he will no longer compete with Jesus. The best part of Christmas…spending quality time with my family. It was a crazy day for us, running around between my mom, dad, and everyone else, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Relationships are one of the most important investments that Jesus inspired.
I hope that 2012 will be full of change and improved relationships. I hope that I will maintain focus on the One that can make this change possible and eternal. I hope for more clarity and more joy. I hope the same for you.