by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro © 2015
Most of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus already know Christmas is not about presents, or gathering with people we love, decorations, lights or Christmas trees. Ultimately it is not about kindness to others or even a baby in a manger. Christmas celebrates and commemorates God come down to earth as one of us while remaining fully God and living with us, then dying and rising again to life everlasting in order to reveal the true nature of our Creator, Father God, open up the Way (His Way) and show us the Way home.
This is a way of restoration. We all need to be restored. We are born without the ability to live out our destiny with and through God, Who created us. We were not created to “get” from Him (though He provides all things to us), but to rely on Him and give to Him.
This is the feast of Christ (“Christ-mas”): that the Lord God, knowing we could never achieve it for ourselves, demonstrated His incomprehensibly infinite and unconditional love for us by being born, living and suffering unjustly until His death in order to ransom us from captivity in a temporal, fallen world. We celebrate freedom from this life being all there is. We celebrate the gift that death at His appointed time has become the door for each of us into ultimate fulfillment of all His promises instead of a bitter end and defeat of all for which we had hoped.
This is what we celebrate. The rest is mere trappings we have chosen to add to it.
So what, if we don’t want to set up a Christmas tree?! So what, if we don’t feel like parties, decorations, baking or celebrating our current life? While these can be very special additions to Christmas, they are not the core. Christmas is a celebration and commemoration of the birth of hope into our world. Jesus’ birth was the beginning of the Lord visibly fulfilling His greatest promise to us: never to leave us or forget us here, but to provide for us the way to the eternal home which He always intended for us. Christmas reminds us that because He was born, He showed us the Father. He demonstrated His unfathomable love by going to the cross before we ever knew Him or pledged allegiance to Him. Selfless. Giving. Forever. Love. From Him. For us. Christmas is the hope of the Resurrection for our future and the promise of Pentecost where He remains with us through the Holy Spirit leading us today.
Candles and lights remind us of the Light of hope, truth and love which He is, shining into our darkness. Evergreen trees brought inside in winter remind us of never-ending life, which is His promise because of Jesus. Red reminds of the blood Jesus selflessly, sacrificially shed to give us this eternal life and green represents the combination of His restoration and the LIFE to which He invites. The gifts we give and the kindness we pursue are supposed to represent the overflowing outpourings of love we have for Him because He loved us, which we shower on others because we have deep inner need to pour out for others because of how He has done for us.
And yet, kindness as an expression of our love for Him in light of His love for us has no season. And none of the trappings we associate with Christmas are essential.
The core of Christmas is simply Christ. Christ celebrated. Christ adored. Thanksgiving for what He has done and will do with a focus on eternal more than temporal.
If you enjoy all the trappings we associate with Christmas then enjoy! If you find yourself in a place in life where this does not fit, then do not feel obliged and do not allow anyone to cause you to feel obliged. Be kind and just say “no”.
The essential is Christ.
Sit at His feet. Ask Him whatever you want. Tell Him you wish it weren’t so. Cry your tears and remain with Him.
May it be the most beautiful, significant season of celebrating His coming ever. Here is not our home. Let us truly celebrate the One who is our hope because He is the One Who came and is coming again. LIFE!
NUGGETS OF GOD’s WISDOMGod’s Wisdom is more precious than gold. This blog by Elizabeth Fulgaro helps readers discover God’s way versus the world’s one “nugget” at a time. http://www.ascendinworship.wordpress.com
Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist. She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way.
For more information on books, worship albums, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.elizabethfulgaro.com . Music can be purchased and audio clips heard at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro and on itunes.
Elizabeth also posts brief devotions and prayers on Facebook on her page: Spiritual Armor and Ammo where you will find more posts of God’s truth and His way to help you stand strong against the battles of this life in which we all find ourselves.
Elizabeth is the Founder of Eagles Nest Foundation which provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss. For information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org