I know I've said it before, but it sure does feel like this season has flown by. This Christmas season has done so much for my heart, in bringing the people in my life together, helping me slow down and savor special moments, and even in stretching me creatively through 25 Days of Blogmas! Reed and I laid in bed last night, reminiscing over the big and small memories this season has given us, and I couldn't help but smile ear to ear, feeling grateful for what we've been given this month.
Each day has been filled with excitement, but I have been looking forward to today the most. Not only is Christmas Eve so much fun, because you get to feel the anticipation of Christmas for one final day, but it is also so meaningful to me in a spiritual sense. Every year on this day, I am reminded of the hope I have been given.
To many, hope feels like more of a myth than a reality.
More of a precious commodity afforded to the lucky few, not something allotted to the masses. You do not have to look far, or talk to many people, to realize that hope is truly the ultimate prize. My heart breaks when I hear and see what people are going through around the world. I feel the Lord increasing my capacity to take those gut-wrenching stories in, when all I want to do is tune them out and remain in my curated bliss. But I know that he wants me to see. He wants me to listen. He wants me to feel. In order to be who I am called to be, a light and hope to the world around me, I have to care about them first.
I have to have the heart of Jesus. The heart of the man who did not consider equality with God something to hang onto, but instead considered our hope worth dying for. Worth becoming flesh and blood, entering into a world of disaster, for. This is my Jesus. My goal. My hero. My hope.
The Christmas story is really one of hope, friends.
It's about a gracious and personal God, who ached with love for us, and came up with a plan to save us. It's about inviting mankind to be a part of a holy, purpose-filled story, and giving salvation the final word. It's about deconstructing what we would call "powerful" and "worthy" and "royal", and giving us the Prince of Peace, in his humblest form. It's about eternity offered to us, first in a manger, and then later on the cross.
It is no secret, that I love the festive activities and traditions of the Christmas season. I love a cup of hot cocoa by the fire, and wrapping presents under the tree. I love wearing Santa Clause pajamas, and watching Charlie Brown Christmas. But none of these fun rituals can replace the fulfillment and gift I have been given, we all have been given, through the birth and life of Jesus Christ. It is because he came and lived, that I can live. It is because of the details and purpose in his story, that I can claim purpose. Today, I can't celebrate without remembering. I can't be who I want to be, without remembering who Jesus calls me to be. I need to recall the lowly place Jesus took, so that I would know how to serve. That is what Christmas means to me.
Christmas means hope. Christmas means life. Christmas means God with us.
So wherever you find yourself today, and whether or not you are feeling particularly hopeful - know that I am praying for you, standing in your corner, and sending you some Christmas love. I pray that you will see the hope before you, and claim it for your life.
Merry Christmas everyone, and I will see you here tomorrow for one last day of Blogmas!