When thinking about Christmas and what would make the most sense to write about I came up with how do I celebrate Christmas in a meaningful way? To give some perspective, I am writing this on the Sunday before Christmas. This morning I prayed for God to give me some insight on what to write about. I asked for something simple and meaningful. Once I figured out that I wanted to highlight the celebration of Christ’s birth, i.e. Christmas, I simply laid my head back on my little blue chair and asked for words to use. When I say words I mean a few individual words to help spark this post. Here is what God gave me, and yes I believe He gave them to me; believe, acknowledge, and cherish. More insight, those words came in the opposite order, cherish being the first one that I wrote down and believe being the last. I even questioned believe because it seems kind of cheesy and little too Hallmarky. But after some consideration it seems to be the right word. I write all this to show you that sometimes hearing from God is simple and easy, and other times it feels impossible, this is the former.
As soon as I heard the word believe I immediately picture the scene in Elf when the Santa O-meter or whatever it is called was falling, no one believed in Santa anymore. We all celebrate Christmas and have “Santa” around but we do not believe that he is real. I think we tend to do something similar with the birth of Christ. It feels too historic and distant. We talk about it but do we really believe it? Do your actions reflect the fact that you believe in Jesus Christ? This is not meant to be a “check your heart” question at its core, but take from it what you want. I’ll be bold and say that Christmas talks a lot about Jesus much like we do Santa, but how many of us actually believe the story we hear and form real celebration in our hearts? This is the first year that I am getting the whole celebration piece. Not to say that I went through a time where I didn’t believe in Jesus but I did not acknowledge the story as real life, as in it actually happened.
That’s where my next word comes into play and remember I heard the word acknowledge before I heard the word believe. However, when I put it into practice acknowledge seems to come after. I think the way that we respond to our believing is played out in how we acknowledge it with our lives. I don’t mean acknowledge in the sense that it happened and that’s all, I mean, with intentional action. If we are not constantly acknowledging it then did we ever truly believe it in the first place? I realize that it somewhat of a loaded question but let’s be honest with ourselves. Going back to my elf reference, you know the scene towards the end when the dad is mouthing the words to the song but not actually singing them? He was not acknowledging his belief in Santa, therefore the needle in the sleigh wasn’t moving. How often do we mouth the words? It has only been within the last year that I decided to start “singing”, and it came in the form of this blog. In my writing and preparing to write I have grown fond of the word cherish.
There is something special about the word cherish. I think it needs to be reserved for things that we value the most. For instance, my first wedding band, the one that didn’t fit (Sorry Hana), had the word cherish engraved on the inside because it meant a lot to us. So when it comes to believing and acknowledging the birth of Christ I think it’s something to cherish. The word embodies this entire season. We should be cherishing the thought of a savior coming to save us. We should cherish our loved ones and the gifts we are so blessed to give them. The season of Advent and celebration revolves around the things we cherish. The things we place the highest value in. Things like the birth of God putting on flesh.
I’ll finish with this. As we approach Christmas day, presumably tomorrow if you reading this when I post it, I am going to be focusing on the three words above and at this point checking my heart. Am I in a place to cherish this season and everything it brings. Do I believe that Jesus was actually born of the Virgin Mary with the sole purpose to save me from sin? And if I do, what does that do to my life? How can I acknowledge the magnitude of something like this? And lastly, because of all this, what will I cherish?
There is a really good song, find it here, that makes me feel super Christmassy in a Jesus loving kind of way. It’s a mash-up by Phil Wickham, so it’s pretty lengthy but it’s one of those songs you just close your eyes and listen to. It’s the kind of song that will inspire belief in something bigger than us, something like the celebration of Christ’s birth.
So this is my prayer right now: God because I believe in you and I believe that Jesus was born to save me I am going to acknowledge your sacrifice by cherishing the things that matter. I am going to celebrate you in a new way. I am going to give you the gift of my heart because you have already given us the greatest gift in Jesus. I love you because you first loved me. Amen.