By Elisabeth Corcoran
It's Christmastime. It's here already. Can you believe it? The Christmas season, for me, is one of those lifeline benchmarks. I remember last Christmas like it was yesterday - the shopping, the cookie-baking, the decorating, the resolve to cut myself some slack: the resolve to remember the whole point this time around. Did I? When Christmas Eve came around last year, and I sat with my children and husband in our candlelight Christmas Eve service after the rush of four weeks of parties and preparation, was my heart calm? Was I remembering the truth? Was I full of wonder? To be honest: all I really remember is bringing a lot of extra things for my kids to play and eat during the service as we weren't having childcare for the first time in years.
I also remember filling a couple shoeboxes of toys to send overseas to children who were living without even the basics. And I remember taking my kids to a nursing home to deliver gifts to two elderly people who didn't have family to visit them. And I remember opening my home for our annual neighborhood open house. Last year, I wanted to make sure that my kids looked beyond their Christmas wish lists and saw into the needs of others. I wanted to feel that too. I wanted to see past my to-do lists and shopping lists, and I think I did that. But I wonder: did I trade one kind of busy for another? Was my heart right in the serving? I hope so. But in the midst of that other kind of busyness, did I take the chance to stop? To stop and listen and dwell? Will I this year?
Will I sit down with a cup of hot chocolate and look outside my window and just stare out at the glistening snow? Will I read the story of the angel coming to tell Mary about her pregnancy, and will I sit with what it must have felt like to hear that kind of news, and the faith that it took to believe and move forward with confidence into a future that seemed so uncertain? Will I remind my children, each time they ask for another toy, why we even celebrate this holiday, this holy day, in the first place? Will I remind myself? Will I know how? Because why do we? Yes, it is the observance of the birth of Christ, who is, to many of us, Savior. But do we get why this is so huge? Do I? Do I realize where I would be without Him? Do I ever just sit with the immensity of His grace? Do I let the idea of His breathtaking love overwhelm me to the point of unavoidable worship and wonder?
I don't want to miss Him this year. God, burst into my Christmas season and remind me of who You are and of who I am because of You. Thank You for coming: into this world, into my life, and into my soul.
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