I never thought that Christmas would be a joyous time again. The last 2 years I dreaded December, Christmas, New Years, the holidays and everything that came with them. It all hurt, it all served as a reminder of 3 years ago. I thought that it would forever define and mark the season of the holidays. I get to celebrate that it has not been the case this year. Far from it actually.
There have been rough days, nights and it does stir things up a bit. This year I have been able to separate those things. To take time this year and really focus on the joy that this season has, not because of the gifts, the food, the music or anything Hallmark. This year I have gotten to take time to just behold Jesus, who he is and what he has done for me. And it leaves me in awe and at a loss for words.
I sit here thinking looking at the Christmas tree how beautiful an image that God sent his son, as a precious baby. That Shepherds would hear the news and travel. Shepherds traveled to welcome the one true shepherd, a shepherd who would come to seek each lost person. There is a star on top of the tree. A star that represents the Three Wise Men following a star across a long distance to greet their new King. Three Wise Men who had a choice, they could follow King Herod’s orders and choose to follow a King of the World, or they could choose to believe in the prophecies and follow Jesus, a baby who was laying in a manager. This tree is a reminder of the tree that Jesus would be nailed to, that he would give his life for me. It is strung with lights, a reminder that he is the light to the World. Hope when there is nothing but darkness. There is red, symbolizing the blood that was shed, white for the pureness of the sacrifice, and green a sign of new life. And finally the tree is decorated and adorned. Just like a King, because God is a King worthy of everything there is to offer.
This year I get to focus on what this season is about, the joy and worshiping and honoring the gift that I was freely given. I get to worship because of all that he has done. I get to celebrate because of all the healing, grace, and light in the darkness he has given me. When I sit and reflect on all of that I am able to find the strength to turn to Him and say let this be your season. Let this be a holiday and time that isn’t defined by the actions of someone who came in like a thief in the night, but by the reality of the redemption through Christ. And I realize this is what it means to become more than a conqueror. A conqueror is someone who takes command, often by force, and rules over someone. This year I got to do more than conquer those hurts. With Jesus this season I got to overcome and more than conquer. Because it wasn’t just taking control and ruling over it all. It was choosing to put my focus on something even bigger. It has provided peace in the midst of chaos, safety in moments of anxiety, and hope in moments of despair. That is the greatest gift I could possibly think of this year. And it came all because a child was born, a child who would grow to take the weight of the world on his shoulders and give his life. I wanted this month, this year, this holiday to be different, and that is exactly what it was, different in the most beautiful way.
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night, and lo the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid, and the angel said unto them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior, tis Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:8-14
So tonight, I know, to rejoice, fear not, give Glory to God and enjoy peace on earth. That is how I get to be conqueror. That is the true gift of Christmas and this year I’m choosing to accept it.