Don’t Box It Up.

Jan 1st, 2013

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Don’t Box It Up.

It’s New Years Day. The rain has been pouring outside with a constant mechanical like rhytmn all morning. The floors of my home are filled with boxes that came out of the attic marked “Christmas.” The day is dreary inside and out. My heart looms heavy with sadness as the most joyous season is over. Resolutions and dreams await. To-do lists and goals. Better finances. Better health. More family time. More time with God. All the demands collide in unison and scream, “Hurry, hurry. Put Christmas away, hurry!”

But, this year, I don’t want to put Christmas away. You see, Christmas is truly magical for me. I slow down, laugh with my kids, play games, stay up late and eat cookies, sing with glee “just because”. I celebrate with joy all of the gifts that surround me and stand in awe of gift of Jesus and His presence.

The day ticks on.  The kids watch, begging me to stop, sad and helpless, as I continue to rid our home of Christmas decor. I have carefully boxed the snowman and trees, the ornaments are wrapped and packed, the lights turned off, the garlands carefully rolled up, the cookie tins empty. I’ve found the nativity box and carefully tucked Baby Jesus away, along with the stable and a host of the other prominent Christmas characters. There is no joyful music playing and I work, and I think.  Isn’t this sadness that resonates in the heart of many at the change of seasons a clear indicator that Christmas is a gift that is meant for everyday? We daily need the joy that comes with the miracle of belief. The miracle of God’s presence here on our fallen, sinful and hurting world.

Christmas is the miracle of God with us. The unthinkable miracle of our savior becoming like us. The miracle of Jesus being able to relate to life as we sense it, through human eyes. The ever-changing volatile emotions, the various moments of favor and blessing, and often, those seasons of grief and hardship.  The mundane and boring weeks where apathetically we go through the motions of life and routine.

When we experience unspeakable grief, tragedies we can’t understand, and heartbreaks that feel larger then our faith we need a miracle. We need a Savior who has experienced all, who empathizes in our brokenness, yet offers floods of peace and assurance of His presence. We can move through this life with joy, even through uncertainty, only because He is with us.

When we experience immense joy, and unspeakable gladness we realize all is possible only because of the gift of Jesus. The love I experience as I mother my children and grow old with my husband, only possible because of the love of God in my heart. The glimpses of heaven on earth, a foretaste of the goodness that awaits when all is made right. And all will be made right, all tears one day wiped away, all the life hurt and the many injustices of life wiped from our memories…. It will be. But only because of the Christmas miracle. The miracle of God with us.

As you go through 2013 I pray that you will not leave Christmas in the attic this year. Don’t box Jesus up and ignore the gift of His presence. Don’t save it for sundays or for the month of December. Unwrap the gift every morning. Jesus. Here with you. No matter what the day brings, no matter what the year holds, He is here. In your midst. Loving. Holding. Sustaining. and giving Joy. Deep, soul filled, overflowing, uncontainable joy. Joy that doesn’t depend on circumstances, people, or conditions. Joy that has no exclusions. The joy of Jesus is the gift God wants you to have every day this year, don’t leave it in a box. Our homes, schools, workplaces, government, and churches desperately need the Christmas miracle. The Christmas miracle is manifested in each and every believer, who chooses to “leave Christmas up” year round. This year, I’m making a resolution to celebrate Christmas every day. Join me?

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