What compared to Christmas morning? My cousins and I would get sent up stairs to “sleep” which involved a lot of laughter, flying objects, not much sleeping, and a lot of parents yelling up to go to sleep. The restless anticipation was a feeling that only came once a year and we soaked up every second of it. We would finally fall asleep hoping it would be one of those nights that seemed to last a second. Hoping that as soon as we closed our eyes they would open to sun pouring through the windows and the murmur of our parents talking over coffee downstairs. And you know what happens next.
But things are different now. It’s the days before christmas and I’ve hardly thought about it. My mom asked me several times what I wanted for christmas and each time I would respond with a monotone, ” I don’t know, surprise me”. The lights, trees, and gift purchasing and wrapping has tried its best to get me in the Christmas spirit, but for the most part, its efforts have fallen short. To me this Christmas has been more of a chance to turn my brain of and not think about school and spend some time hanging with friends and family rather than a celebration. Iv’e enjoyed the break and its been a happy time, but the excitement that I felt as a child is gone. Theres no doubt in my mind that I’ll have no trouble sleeping tonight.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays. I’m not a scrooge who turns the radio off every time a christmas song comes on, but it’s just not the same as it used to be. I’m not sure exactly when I lost the christmas bug. Sometime in middle school maybe? But for some reason it became glaringly apparent to me this morning. But It isn’t the fact that I wasn’t excited about the gifts, the lights, movies, and music.
It is the fact that I’m not overly excited… about anything. Have I forgotten the reason we celebrate Christmas. Jesus birth? Of course not, I have had that message pounded in my head since I was born. If you were to ask me what Christmas is about I would respond with, “the birth of Jesus” without hesitation. But I think I may have become somewhat numb to it. The songs, the hundreds of front yard nativities, the christmas plays, and christmas eve sermons, had all become ritual and routine.
And I don’t think I’m alone in this. I would guess many of you feel the same way this season.
Psalms 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”. As christians, Jesus is the reason for our life. He is our joy and the reason we love. And we have this incredible opportunity, once a year, to take time off of school and work and life and gather with those who know the love of Jesus and praise Him for joining us on this earth and giving us that life. In the words of @Hoodjesusyo, “Dat should get u so much mo turnt den any present!”. The implication of what we are celebrating obviously reaches beyond christmas to every second of our existence, but this time set aside to celebrate should overflow our cups with joy that can only come from Jesus Christ.
So my prayer would be that this christmas we wouldn’t gloss over the life changing event that we are celebrating because we’ve heard it so many times. It doesn’t matter how many times we hear it, the life and death of Jesus is what gives us life every day, and through it we would be able to find that childlike restless anticipation again. Only this time it shouldn’t be for the presents that await under the tree, but rather another opportunity to live out the love that we have been graced with from God by Jesus.
Much Love and Merry Christmas.