During this season of Advent, we will be taking a break from our study in the Book of Mark and will instead offer daily devotionals for you to read aloud with your family, pertaining to this Advent season. We will resume our study of Mark after the first of the New Year.
“. . . she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, . . .” Luke 2:7
Many things can take us back to Christmas past. A song, lights, a certain food or drink, a tree, even a smell, can transport us back to our favorite warm, happy, holiday memories.
Emotions are powerful and, just as experience can shape our recall of holidays gone by, if we are not careful, we can tilt Christmas toward reminiscence of how this season makes us feel. Our suburban, nostalgic thoughts of a safe, clean, plentiful holiday celebration are not the standard of what Christmas is all about.
Christmas in our city is often about giving and getting the right kinds of gifts. Throwing and going to the right kind of parties, even orchestrating and participating in the right kind of worship celebrations. Tilting Christmas means a tilt away from our understanding of the Christ incarnation.
The incarnation is a powerful reality. God was not willing to watch human despair from the safety of heaven. He clothed Himself in humanity. He ceased watching the war and became a soldier. Why did He do it? Because life is not clean and safe it’s full of bumps bruises, pain, and heartache. God loves us and was not willing to let us bear the pain alone. So God became flesh to redeem.
Jesus didn’t come to those who thought they had it all together. He didn’t come to those who thought they were already successful. He came those in need, to those who knew they were lost causes. Jesus came to fill that which was missing in all of us. And therein lies the problem of tilting Christmas toward our personal perspective and expectation.
This is the season of glitter and gifts, food and family. Yet, among all the twinkle and tinsel we can forget Jesus is the true light, the living bread and provider of a spiritual family. There’s no need to let go of all fun and festivities, but remember to celebrate Christmas with a strong foundation of how He came and why He came. Allow the truth to tilt your Christmas experience back to Christ.
What is it about Jesus’ incarnation that God is asking you to be mindful of this Advent season?