This time of year, I hear about or see my friends post on social media all the joys of celebrating this holiday season. It’s marked with family gatherings, gift exchanges, holiday music/movies, all-things sparkly and Christmas.
*Insert side rant that’s going to become relevant in this post*
I’ve always wanted to marry someone with a big family that does all of those typical cute big family sha-bangs. The weird games, the outings, decorating the house/tree, cute babies, family parties, cooking meals and baking cookies, cameras being shoved in your face/awkward photos, laughter and chatter filling the air. Maybe this sounds like yours and you’re like “Nah Angie, it ain’t all that great” or “Lol it’s pretty crazy”. Yeah I hear you- BUT HEAR ME OUT! I’m not really about the superficial aspect of it, I mean I understand it can be dissatisfying to have a big family and feel like there’s a lack of deeper connection. Maybe you’re just dragged along and drained, or these celebrations seem fake or too much. Well, I’m talking more on the aspect of the expected rhythm of celebrating, bonding and togetherness. It’s so important to step back from all that’s going on in life to just have a good time with people you love, whatever that may look like. Maybe since my main love language is quality time, I just love the thought of doing things with a bunch of people, making good memories and being silly. But also, I grew up in a home without consistent tradition, and only in recent years did we start to value eating together. All of my extended family lives in other countries. I’m super thankful still, as the holidays used to be some of the hardest, loneliest times- not trying to be sounding ungrateful for what I already have, which are def blessings. But yeah, this is just one of my desires in life hehe.
Wait, hold on though- Yes, these are wonderful things and valid to desire. Jesus knows my heart and I trust in what the future holds for me in that area for healing and fulfillment. But what is the meaning of Christmas?
As someone who is a follower of Jesus, Christmas obviously is about Jesus… Or is it?
Home is a spiritual battlefield for me, as I am for now the only person who has a personal relationship with the Lord. Basically, this post was fueled by what happened tonight as we ate a meal together for the sake of “Christmas”. There were some comments of mockery towards other people who were believers as well as “unpleasant” comments that were personal to me. My first instinct usually when things like this occur is to feel hurt, be sad, and want to leave.
I didn’t understand- why are we even eating for Christmas? They don’t care about all the religious mumbo-jumbo, but is Christmas just so engrained in the world culture that the true meaning has been lost? God has answered numerous prayers I’ve prayed for years for my family, even showed me favor in ways that they would be able to see Him working undeniably. They’d tell me, “Wow things always somehow always work out for you more than the rest of us”, or even joke “The angels must be with you” when they don’t know how to logically explain certain situations (aka miracles, provisions!). I’ve learned in all these years that it’s not my own burden or power to show them His love, not about having the right words or theology but trusting in Him who is fighting most of this battle. I get frustrated though, and saddened especially times like these.
Jesus, they refuse to see you. Heck, they don’t even recognize you when you are so close, so evident. Why Lord? When? I feel alone. I feel weak. I am tired…
In my dialogues with Him tonight, God’s voice guided my thoughts and I heard the gentle whispers…
This is why I came. They don’t see or hear me, but I came anyway. I died for them anyway. My Hope and power is living and active. Daughter, be encouraged- I came into the world regardless.
Jesus came into the world, God in human form, yet many did not recognize him. People rejected Him, denied who He was, mocked Him, killed Him. As I remembered this, I realized that this moment at home felt so relevant and symbolic.
It’s evident the condition of the world we live in.
Diagnosis: Apathy. Anger. Hatred. Disbelief. Pride. Greed.
Jesus proclaimed that He came for the sick, not the healthy (Mark 2:17). He came for the Gentiles, the lepers, the bleeding woman, the prostitute, the tax collectors- lowly, disregarded, despised, unreligious, dismissed, poor [in spirit]. It’s appropriate to celebrate Jesus’ birth, but I guess I’m remembering that He didn’t come for those who would celebrate Him. He came for those He had to seek out to mend the gap, and those who cursed His name.
So yeah, Christmas is supposed to mean a celebration of His birth. But am I content with the thought of joyfully praising His coming rather than immersing deeper into the reality in which Christ came into?
Do I believe God is here with my family whether they are aware or not? Do I remember all that He has done, or have I forgotten already of His faithfulness? Will I give up or continue to have faith for them?
Holiday traditions, big family sha-bangs, all the fun festive things are so great- but I’m thankful that in this season of my life God is still teaching me the real meaning of Christmas through heart wrenching moments. I think I need to learn this fully first anyway in order to not get caught up doing all of these festive things versus sitting at Christ’s feet to thank Him, adore Him, praise Him.