I've heard a lot about the true meaning of Christmas these past few years and it got me asking myself what it means for me. What gives this crazy, busy, and often expensive season meaning?
Giving and serving are two practical ways I deliberately and intentionally fight the materialism that threatens to steal my joy and leave me feeling empty. I love that we participate in Operation Christmas Child and spend time and effort to bless those less fortunate than ourselves. I love that we put up a Jesse Tree, a recent addition to our family's Christmas traditions. And perhaps my favorite thing is attending the candlelit Christmas Eve service as we choose to put God first before presents. But that's not it.
What it really boils down to for me is one thing:
Emmanuel. God WITH US.
God loves us. Us being His children, fashioned by His own hand, in His own image. God loves us so much that He came down to be with us. To dwell among us. (John 1:14) He just wants to be with us. He just wants us to be with Him. (John 17:24) How refreshing to have this reminder every year to help me refocus my gaze on my Savior and leave all the stresses of this life in His capable hands.
"Casting the whole of your care (all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all) on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully." 1 Peter 5:7 Amplified
So as the world rushes on around me, I quiet myself like a child on his mother's lap (Psalm 131:2) and I remember again, He is with me. Because He wants to be.
"You could've left us on our own, but You're here." ~ Francesca Battistelli