Sunday, December 24, 2006

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

Found this here, and wanted to share. Remember the Reason for Christmas - not just "today" but every day! :) Love y'all!!!!

The One Thing: A Christmas Devotion

I love the Christmas season. The cheerful music, the blinking lights, the brightly colored decorations, the cooler weather. I love the smell of the Christmas trees and the smell in the air. It's different this time of year. I love shopping for gifts for people who are special to me. I love watching my son, who's almost 4 now, as he begins to experience the wonder of Christmas. I love seeing the light in his eyes and hearing the excitement in his voice as he takes in all the sights and sounds around him. And I try to remember what it was like to be a child at Christmas, experiencing it with all it's magic-and without all the hassles and responsibilities and concerns that go along with being an adult at this hectic time of year.
Those childhood memories are vague. But seeing Christmas through the eyes of my child helps bring them into focus.

Even so, it seems to get harder every year to find the real meaning of Christmas. And perhaps it's different for everyone... I mean Christ is the central figure of Christmas, but what does he celebration of His birth mean to you? Is it the sacrifice He made for us, or is it the life He gives us that makes Christmas special? Is it the miraculous way He came into this world or the reason He came into this world that brings significance to the season for you?

Christmas means many different things to everyone, but all I wanted-or needed-was one thing-one thing I could cling to to bring significance to this holiday season.

As I was lying in bed one night, I realized I'd never had
even "one thing" that made this season really special before. Christmas had never really been personal to me before. It was always what it was "supposed" to be-the celebration of Christ's birth. Period. And I've always felt like Christmas was a little like my Grandmother's birthday. She's had 93 of them, so what's the big deal about it any more? She would tell you after all these years her birthday had lost a lot of it's special-ness. It's become a day just like any other. Sure, she goes through the motions, she opens her gifts and blows out her candles, but the excitement is gone. And what's worse is the memory that this used to be such a special day along with the lack of significance it now has, has made her birthday even more hollow and empty. And that's kind of how I've been feeling about Christmas.

But as I was lying in bed this particular night, I was telling God how I've been feeling and I began asking Him a lot of questions. After I'd asked my last question I realized He was speaking to my heart-you know, in that still small voice that, although t's not audible, it leaves an indelible impression nonetheless. It was though He was saying to me, "'Mary, the one thing is you and Me."

Instantly I knew what He meant. As with everything else in the Christian life, it's not about ritual or tradition or even about what Christ did for us. It's about where I stand with him now, today, right this minute. It's about our relationship. It's about walking with Him daily, turning to Him in every situation, trusting Him with all my cares and burderns and concerns. It's about making Him the priority in my life, day by day, moment by moment.

And then it occured to me. My relationship with God is
more important than anything. More important than my husband, my son, or my daughter. I suppose I've always known via head-knowledge that was the way it was supposed to be, but in that brief moment with God, there alone in my bedroom, I realized it in my heart, even to the very core of my being. Once it was lip-service, but at that moment it was so tangible I felt I could reach out and touch it.

I also realized I'd been so overwhelmed trying to take care of my family, our house, and other responsibilities that I have neglected my relationship with my Lord. Although it's been a priority to spend time with God and to work on our relationship, it just hadn't seemed possible to fit it into my already overcrowded schedule. How could I hope to spend time daily with Him (who I can't see) when I couldn't even seem to take care of those whom I can see? But there, in His presence, He spoke the answer to my heart and it seemed as though it was the most logical thing in the world. "Make Me your top priority and all the other priorities will be taken care of as a result."

That night I found my "one thing." And I commit to you
now that this holiday season I will hold on to my "one thing." I will hold on to the gift God personally gave me that night-a personal encounter with Him during which He, by virtue of His Holy Spirit, gave me a tangible picture of what Christmas is really supposed to be for me. It's a time to put things in perspective, to get my priorities straight, and to focus my time and energy on drawing closer to God. Nothing is more important. In fact, it's so important that He gave His only Son over to death on a cross so that I would be able to draw close to Him.

I challenge and encourage you in the midst of the hustle and bustle of this holiday season to take a quiet moment to ask God what your "one thing" is for this Christmas season. I guarantee you if you ask Him with
all your heart, He will answer you. For He says in His Word, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13)
Merry Christmas!

Copyright © 1995 Mary Comm.

2 comments:

Arvind_kumar said...

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DNR said...

Christmas was great in the DNR house hold!! Hope yours was everything your expected.

God Bless, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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