The rain has passed but it left behind its dreariness. The gray, damp skies encourage a blanket and a hot, steaming cup of something. The twinkling lights of our Christmas tree warm the room and the light of the manger scene sitting below it consistently reminds me there is more.
There are no gifts under our tree yet. The hustle and bustle of the next 2 days is teasing me. No matter how much I try to slow down and enjoy the Advent season, it often blows by me like a frantic shopper on the day before Christmas. The candles on our advent greens indicate they haven't been lit very often. Where did the last 3 weeks go?
As I prepare food for our Christmas tables, I try to prepare my heart for what is about to come. As I try to push Santa Claus, my to-do list, and my growing spam folder of "special holiday deals" out of my mind, I am so very thankful for the more. Why spend all of this money? Why rush around like I've lost my mind, my head? Why chop down a perfectly good tree, decorate it with sparkly lights and a litany of ornaments? What is the point after all? There is more to Christmas then this.
And there is more to the Christmas story, too. We celebrate that a Baby is born, but we also remember how perfectly executed the plan was. That the Messiah would innocently come in the form of a child. That He would grow and live among His people. His time on Earth an example. He touched lives, performed miracles, and taught His children. And He GAVE. He sacrificed. He loved.
Why is the Christ part of Christmas so important? Because without Him, we would have no hope, no chance of eternal life, no redemption.
Although I really enjoy spending time with family, sharing tasty foods, giving gifts from the heart, and the traditions we have created with our children, I know I would be left wanting more. Because those things satisfy for a moment. They don't sustain.
As I sit with toasty blanket and cup of steaming mulled cider surrounded by decked halls, I am so thankful that when I pull all of these Earthly treasures away, I have something left that will sustain. Something that promises to be more. More than I could ever imagine. More than I could ever want. And that leaves me feeling very full. Very full, indeed.
"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen." (1 Timothy 1:15-17)
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21)