Friday, December 13, 2013

how to get close to christmas

One year ago tragedy shook our nation and left us all with more questions than answers.  Today I remember those families directly impacted and whisper prayers of hope and healing for them.  We all have tragedies that color they way we experience this season...and so I'm whispering those same prayers for you.  We each carry our own personal heartaches as we step closer and closer to the cradle of our Savior.  I hope as these winter days roll on you will set your tragedies down and allow your fingers the freedom to reach out and touch Christmas...

{The following is a repost from December 2012}

When I picked her up from school today she danced to the flying.  She was singing a new's always a new song with her...usually about princesses or Jesus or something that she's recently learned.  The girl can set anything to music.

I was thankful.  Thankful that today is just another sweet day for her.  Thankful that school still feels happy and safe.  Thankful that, in her innocence, she doesn't carry the weight of the world.  I'm taking her lead.  I'm singing a new song.

Now we are home and I see her by the tree with all the pieces of our multiple nativity sets lined up.  She plays with them every day.  Sometimes she takes down ornaments and uses them too.  

I overhear her saying things like 'Christ Jesus' and 'three kings' and 'the star of Bethlehem'.  Even if she doesn't completely understand every detail of that first Christmas, I am grateful that the words and the stories are familiar to her.  Hearing those words cross her four-year-old lips gives me a peace that her spirit is already connecting with the eternal.  Since i never know what tomorrow holds that's what i wish for...eternity tucked in her heart.

I watch her move the figurines around on the floor and then up onto the table.  Sometimes she sings to them.  Other times she tells stories.  I see her removing the ornaments {some of which are fragile} and placing them in various places.  A few days ago she asked permission -
could I use some of these ornaments too, mama?  
I only paused a moment before I smiled and nodded my head.  
It took a long time for me to decorate that tree.  I really like a lot of those ornaments.  I probably couldn't replace some of them.  I could make the tree off-limits...but i don't.  

I want Christmas to be accessible to my kids.  
I want them to touch it and get down on the floor with it and hold it up to the light.  
I want them to trace their fingers along every angle.
I want them to sing about it and talk about it.  
I want them to be right in the middle of it.

It's what Jesus did.  
He got down on the ground...right in the middle of everything.  
He didn't stand off at a distance watching us - wondering what it might be like to touch us or hold us or tell us stories.  
He came to us.  
He picked us up from whatever floor we were lying on, whatever tree we were hanging from.
Even though we were fragile...even though we were prone to breaking...he came to us.  

He still does.

I hope you know that you don't have to watch Christmas from a distance.  I hope you know that you are part of the story.  I hope you will put yourself smack dab in the middle of Bethlehem on that dirty stable floor and receive the precious gift that was sent for you to hold and sing about and treasure...

I hope this Christmas is one you can touch.

Our almighty God, who sifted stars through his fingers, stands not with kings and princes, but with the weak, the powerless, the poor.
Because the people no one else thinks are important have a special place in God's heart.  He hears their cries.  He fights for them and defends them.
And one night long ago, in Bethlehem, he stepped out of heaven and became one of them.
{Sally Lloyd-Jones :: Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing