Where There is Jesus…

Our 11-year-old asked a question of me a few days back which I would have normally thrown into my memory as one of the many ponderings of a child on any given day. However, on this particular day, it cut deeper than I chose to admit.

“Mom, do you think our home has the Christmas spirit?”

I knew exactly what she meant. We are still in the midst of putting our home back together after moving everything downstairs, so our home is a mess. Plus, is it me, or did Christmas came much faster this year? We talked about a tree, but we never actually got around to buying it. Nor did we hang our garland or pull out the nativity set. I bought our first Christmas present four days ago; I have yet to wrap anything. Consequently, our home doesn’t look very “Christmas-y” to her; it just looks like it would look on any other day—at least, for the last month.

Of course, the tree, etc., has little to do with my own celebration of this season. For me, those are just symbols of a change in the way the house looks. My personal traditions involve listening to Christmas music (both secular and Christian), and watching “The Nativity Story” on Christmas Eve.

But I also struggle during this time of year. And this year in particular I write during a time where there seems to be little in the world that is Christmas-y. Even in a country that purports Christ as its foundation, I witness so much of life that is un-Christian. Perhaps Nikki and the City summed it up best for me in her blog post, “Sometimes it’s Hard Being Black and Christian.” As my friend Bobbie prayed, we knew the last days were upon us, but we never saw it like this.

More personally, I attended two funerals this past week. Supporting my friends through their losses took me speedily to my own place of pain—my father’s battle with cancer during this same season, a battle he lost in the first month of the new year.

I know that I am not alone. And so I write to encourage others as I encourage myself. Wherever these days find you, know that there is still hope because there is Jesus. Our hope cannot rest in the promises of this world; too often, we are let down and left to sift through the confusion and despair. Once hope is lost, our “sifting” process can take us into some dangerous situations.

‘Oh, holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray,

Cast out our sins and enter in, be born to us this day.

We hear the Christmas angels, the great glad tidings tell;

Oh, come to us, abide with us, oh Lord, Emmanuel.’

(from the song “Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem”)

Emmanuel, i.e., God with us. Do we have the Christmas spirit in our home? Yes, we absolutely do. Merry Christmas to you.

dec 2014 christmas card

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2 thoughts on “Where There is Jesus…

  1. I feel the Christmas Spirit radiate from your words. We are remodeling the dining room so our decorations are sparse with everything in the dining room moved into other rooms! But I have to say I spent more time this year enjoying Jesus, surprising Him with little visits throughout my day and reaching out more to the neighbors. Good changes. Merry Christmas! You are one of the blessings this year that I thank God for!

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    • Oh, Mary, your words bless me, friend. Exactly my thoughts. In spite of all the commercialism that we did NOT embrace, this morning (Christmas Day) was absolutely perfect–everyone gave from their hearts, and though there weren’t an embarrassment of riches under our tree, everyone got something they truly wanted and needed. May God continue to bless you, your family, and your sales, Saleslady, in the years to come.

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