The only reason I entered into the holiday mall madness was for the Star Wars pajamas.
We give the kids new pi's every Christmas Eve and I had a heck of a time finding just the right ones for Oliver. I will spare you the details that led to my trip to The Disney Store. Just believe me when I say, I had exhausted all other viable options.
After sitting in traffic and driving in circles looking for parking places I remembered why I had chosen to do all my other shopping on-line this year. My Christmas spirit plummeted downward as my blood pressure flew up. I watched those two little dots on my digital clock blinking off and on as minutes I didn't have time to waste went passing me by...
and then that song came on the radio.
The song that one month ago I decided to make my theme song this Christmas. It tiptoed back in on the strings of a guitar and I recommitted myself...
to a merry little Christmas.
Christmas can get too big if we're not careful.
The world tells us bigger is better and...well...Christmas is the biggest holiday of the year.
So we plan
big parties and
big meals and
big gifts and
push our ways through crowded stores with
oversized ornaments and
gigantic reindeer hanging from the ceilings.
Our to-do lists are longer and our patience is shorter.
As expectations keep growing, our joy keeps shrinking.
And I am reminded again that
Jesus didn't come into this world to meet our expectations but to meet our needs.
More affirmation and approval for the parties we throw or the gifts we give?
That very first Christmas God entered into our world not in a big and flashy way but in a small and humble one. There was no crowd gathered round, no big party thrown, no perfect meal prepared when the Savior of the world was born a tiny baby in a simple stable. If you know the rest of the story you know that what started as small and simple went on to become the biggest thing that ever hit this world. But Jesus' kind of 'big' comes gentle and slow not frantic and fast.
And so at Christmas especially I want to be small and unassuming and in the background so that the magnitude of what we are celebrating can take center stage. When I make my Christmas too big I make it about me. What Jesus came to accomplish is already big enough.
So don't let anybody bully you into making your Christmas bigger and better. In these few days that remain, consider what you and your people really need this Christmas. If you're anything like me and my people you need
an unhurried heart
a quiet conversation
a chance to sit still and close
as you stop feverishly wrapping gifts and instead allow yourself be wrapped up in the joy and hope that was born tiny and small on that very first merry little Christmas.
If your heart has been heavy and troubled maybe the simple answer is found in this Christmas song I dedicate to you. Maybe a little Christmas is just what you need this year.