You see that little status that notifies you of a relationship change on Facebook. “It’s complicated”. Immediately you think that clearly things are not okay. Someone is thinking of leaving? Someone wants to leave? The status of a relationship is big,big news on social media. Friends ask if you are okay. Family treads softly around your tender heart. But everyone is confused. What does it really mean?
This is how my relationship with Jesus is. Don’t get me wrong. I love Him with all my heart. I’ve known Him my whole life. I’ve never once doubted that He is who He says He is. I’ve never doubted His promises. But, well, sometimes we’re just roommates. Sometimes we don’t talk much and I feel like He doesn’t really understand me. Other times we laugh and talk for hours. I tell Him everything and He responds in every way. But, it’s complicated. It’s hard. Sometimes it’s just hard to know where I stand. And my faith is a bit fuzzy. I fuss about things that are so insignificant. I whine, complain, lament and page through the sorry-Psalms(as I like to call them). The wailing of David in all of his torment seems fitting often. I’m sure Jesus feels the complexity of my inconsistencies too.
Christmas is like that for me.
These past 31 days have been really eye-opening for me to understand what I want out of Christmas. What do I really need to get out of this relationship? Do I want to walk away? No. I love Christmas. I adore the candles and the carols. I crave the shortbread and the singing. I find peace in the snowfalls and the Shepherds abiding.
Maybe that’s where I am. Abiding in this new found relationship that Christmas isn’t what it used to be. Not what I thought it should be and perhaps, I’m just finding a shepherd kind of peace in where we are at.
Christmas is complicated. There’s no doubt about that.
But my desire for Christmas is not.
What I wish for a redeemed Christmas is this:
- simpler gifts
- longer evenings spent by the fire
- meandering phone calls and letters from friends
- small gifts for precious folks
- late night walks on lit up streets
- sugar cookies and milk for me and the mister and maybe the kids too.
- smiles on neighbour’s faces
- hugs from loved ones
- joy on faces
- no shopping stresses
- no built up expectations
I won’t be doing everything on all those posts from this series. I will do some. The point isn’t to do it all. The point is to take back; renovate; redeem all of the Christmases we’ve spent worrying and hurrying. We redeem them when we listen to the still small voice.
1 Kings 19:
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
In the still,small voice of a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes we find peace, rest and hope.
This is what a redeemed Christmas looks and feels like.
Now go and tell the whole world.
***At the top of this page you will see the link to 31 Days to Redeeming Christmas. In there you will find my “manifesto” of sorts for what Christmas means to me as well as links to all 31 posts in this series. Happy reading and Merry Christmas! ****