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  • Writer's pictureJulia Elliott

Christmas Ponderings

Updated: Jan 14, 2021

O come, Thou Day-Spring

Come and cheer

Our spirits by Thine advent here

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night

And death’s dark shadows put to flight

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, o Israel

The presents have been opened. The food is eaten and put away. The grownups are starting to think about getting back to ‘real life’.

This year I have found myself pondering the traditions and expectations of Christmas in a much more sober manner than in the past.

I see my nieces and nephews, along with the children of my friends, alight with excitement and anticipation. They waited for this morning, the presents, the traditions.

For children, Christmas is created by the adults around them. Their parents start traditions. Traditions are carried on from Grandparents. The concept of Santa is pushed in different stores all season long. Almost everywhere a child goes after Thanksgiving, there is some level of Christmas created for them. I am not a mother yet. Unless my pony and puppy count. 😉 And I can’t help but long for the day that I’ll have innocent, awe-filled youngsters pulled at me on Christmas morning.

But what about us grownups?

For me, Christmas celebrates the event of Jesus’ birth. It’s about God coming to be like us. Or rather, show how He made us to be like Him. And with this in mind, I am left pondering the place for all the traditions in my life.

I find myself thinking about sacrifice, the kind that hurts and nobody knows about. Isn’t that the kind of generosity that we should be learning? I guess that’s what God did when He sent Jesus. Nobody knew the Son of God was there. He was probably known as the bastard child. There was no reputation of Kingship. And then there’s how His story on earth ended. It hurt. And nobody knew about it. But it didn’t bother Him to do it. He’d do it again.

So where was that level of love from me this Christmas season?

In all honesty, this year’s festivities were more driven by selfishness and self-preservation than love and sacrifice. Expectations were met. Good times were had. But was it all driven by a reckless, passionate love that seeks out the wellbeing and wholeness of others? I would answer; no.

I was confronted today with how I responded to the holidays and festivities. I didn’t really like what I saw. I felt the neediness of the world, and I wasn’t attempting to respond to it. I saw Christmas as a time to take a break from my calling to love the whole world. I did not let Jesus create Christmas in me this year, or even for me.

But that does not bother me. What’s done is done. We have one week left in this year, and I intend to spend it working through my response to the holidays. And next year? I intend to spend next year discovering that level of love that has eluded me thus far.

Jesus, let’s do this.


This post is brought to you by the Weekly Song!

This weeks song is O Come Emmanual by Highlands Worship.

This is my favorite Christmas Carol. Almost every time I hear it, I get chills. And Highland Worship took it to a whole new level of passion and intensity.

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