What a fantastic gift of simplification and the elimination of hurry we have been given this Christmas!! It is unlikely that other Christmases will be like this one. Perhaps this can be one of your best Christmases ever. If you think about it, it is really up to you and to me what we make of this season.
So, here we are in the middle of a Christmas like no other Christmas in our lifetime. So much is not what we are expecting! Like most of this year, Christmas is full of cancelations and limitations. This cropping has the potential to cause depression and devastating disappointment. Instead of imagining this a loss, consider it in a different way. Consider this an exercise in renewing your mind. My daughter and I enjoy taking pictures. Frequently, a picture is improved when it is cropped. Cropping allows the best part of the photo to be the focus. Just yesterday, when I was editing a photograph, the cropping process reminded me of the Christmas season that we are in this year. When needed we crop a photograph by eliminating something and emphasizing what we determine is most important. Perhaps this Christmas is like a photograph that is cropped. Could it be one of your best Christmases ever?
What has been eliminated in your anticipated Christmas season?
Here are a few things on our list:
Service projects as a group
Christmas programs for school and church
Concerts ( I LOVE live music. This is one of my personal. losses for this season.)
The Nutcracker Ballet
This might leave us wondering what is left once all of these fun activities are cropped. At my house Christmas is still enthusiastically …
Decorating the Christmas tree
Cuddling with my puppy
Family sushi making parties
Board game nights
Christmas decorations inside and out
Reading the Christmas story of the coming of baby Jesus in the Bible
Reading the Advent together
Watching our favorite Christmas movies together
Family and friends for intimate gatherings
Conversations around the table together
Music around the piano and guitar
Music shared with others
Worship more around the piano and guitar
Singing together through Christmas songs
Christmas shopping (mostly on line and with local small businesses)
Christmas cards received and shared
Time to wrap presents with flamboyance
HUGS – more than normal (I hope this is our new normal.)
More time to enjoy the slow pace of absorbing the beauty of the Christmas season
More time for baking and sharing it with others
Time to think about who might be alone so we can include them
Someone said that this Christmas is like having all the hurriedness stripped out of Christmas so that the most important parts are laid bare for us to indulge in more fully.
What is left?
Time to focus on the spiritual significance of Christ’ gift to us as he came as baby Jesus
Time to love on family and friends thoroughly this season
Time to breathe deeply
Some might say that the irony of 2020 is that many priorities, purpose and plans have come into focus. Just as the perfect vision is 20/20, this year 2020 has clarified much much of what we see and know to be true.
Bible teacher John MacArthur summed Christmas up this way:
“If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: “God with us.” We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!”
So, maybe this cropped Christmas is potentially one of the best gifts ever. Our greatest gift is the offer of eternal life with our heavenly father who loves us so much. The cropping of so much created a clearer view of “God with us.”
You are greatly loved. I am greatly loved. Who needs to know they are greatly loved? I am called to be the hands and feet of Christ. If you are a believer in this God creator and savior, you too are gifted with the opportunity to be the light, the reflection of the brilliant love of God during this season.
Be inspired with this inconceivable love which offers us hope and peace this cropped Christmas!