It seems Mother Nature has taken her cue from the retailers this year. She started decorating for Christmas a little early. It’s feeding into the Christmas frenzy we all feel this time of year. There are so many traditions to fit into so little time. The season just wouldn’t be right without concerts and parties. Lefse, peppakakar, Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes must be prepared. The fall garland on the mantel must be replaced with Swedish tomtes and Christmas stockings. The tree must go up and lights strung inside and outside the house. Have I mentioned gift shopping yet? I’m getting anxious just writing this list.
Perhaps your traditions are different then mine but traditions get us ready for Christmas in the same way getting our hats, boots and sweaters out of storage get us ready for winter. They get us mentally prepared. They help us find the excitement that we expect to feel when it’s Christmas. The problem comes when we are too busy “preparing” to actually get there. Then it’s over and all the friends and family go home and the decorations come down. The post-Christmas blahs set in.
There is another side to Christmas. It comes without wrappings or meatballs. Finding Jesus in Christmas is what it’s all about. Where is He? He is there, in the manger. He is easy to find. Follow the star. Look for the shepherds and the wise men. They point the way to the stable where Jesus was born. Jesus is God entering our world to be a part of our lives every day. Believe in him! We can find Him without any busy preparation on our part. What’s even better, he doesn’t leave when we take the tree down. He becomes our companion when we’re anxious or ecstatic, confident or confused. That’s a gift that will fit everyone on your list, young and old! In Isaiah 41:10 we read,
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Christmas traditions are fun. They celebrate Jesus’ birth. They express our love for one-another. They bring families together. But, to keep Christmas in your heart year ‘round you need to go “Finding Jesus” this year! Bring your whole family to the stable to worship! It’s the only tradit