seeking Jesus in the stuff

Photo credit: Mick-Haupt-Kf7e-AD67vk-unsplash

Who is all this gift buying, cookie making, and light stringing for anyway?

I experience this tension each year. I enjoy the warmth of the white sparkles intertwined with evergreen boughs while breathing in deeply the aromas of cinnamon and citrus, and pine. I shop for individualized gifts that I hope will surprise and delight loved ones. I eat too many sugar-dusted and chocolate-covered cookies. I hang the treasured-memory ornaments on the tree and set out the nativities from countries around the world.

But I ask myself, why am I doing all of this? What is the purpose of these things?

Christmas is about Jesus. Not a birth-record birthday, but a set-apart day to celebrate His birth – when the God of the universe voluntarily took on a limited human form to be with us. Jesus, who grew up in a somewhat ordinary way for those times with family and friends so we could relate to Him. AND He did miracles and demonstrated that He was more powerful than death so that we could believe His promise of eternity in heaven and receive His gift of transformation and hope for our every day living.

I don’t want to miss Jesus in all the decoration and all the crazy of the season.

This year is a quieter holiday for me – no week of family-gathered activities, very little baking, and less décor. Sometimes that feels empty and sad, but at other times, like now, it feels good and right because I have space to seek Jesus.

When I have less to do and fewer people around, I can turn my eyes towards Him. I can rest in His forever presence with me, and I can turn my thoughts to following Him and becoming more like Him.

You may have superhero inflatables in the yard, or a houseful of sugar-coma guests, or a full schedule of carol-singing on repeat, or a just-me-and-my-cat-in-front-of-the-fire style of Christmas planned. No matter what your Christmas is like this year, I pray that – in some way – all of that stuff, or the lack of, might help you seek Jesus.

Christmas is His day, and I’m sure He’d like to share it with you.

What helps you find Jesus in the many season distractions?