Only Jesus Remains– 27.Teary Christmas

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro copyright 2020

Oct 22 to Jan 6 reflections from an upcoming book for tending hurting hearts at Christmas

Outside it pours. Winter in the Northern California foothills. The sound of the pounding raindrops like so many tears of our hearts.

These are not always tears which have found their release, but also those carried silently within. Such tears can seem to dampen what others call the Christmas spirit. But those who say this do not really understand. Nothing can snuff out the true Spirit of Christmas.

 On the contrary, when you allow Him too (and even partner with Him), the fire of the true Spirit of Christmas now has the opportunity to finally ignite and burn without ceasing from within, eradicating every aspect of the holiday, which is not part of the holy day until all that is left is Christ.

 The result is a Christmas peace resting on the Rock of true God from true God, though tears still may fall.  God—compassionate and unmovable—who emanates simultaneously into and from within the deepest recesses of your soul.   God weeps with you in your mess and beckons to view the life of His Son where healing awaits as well as activation into true purposeful life as a citizen of His kingdom.

Does that seem impossible and far off? It is not. Press into Him and stay in it. He is leading you. Be encouraged. The first Christmas likely was not an easy, sweet, sentimental time, but a hard one. The Holy Family’s relatives and good friends are not mentioned. There was no room for the Holy Family! Baby laid in a trough into which animals regularly slobbered. Yet angels accompanied the Holy Family. Angels brought strangers to come and adore. A miraculous star appeared in the sky and led another small group to travel to find Him. Simultaneously, the bulk of the population was completely oblivious that the long-awaited Savior had been born.

Ah, God, how inscrutable and in the moment how seemingly nonsensical is Your perfect will! How did any of these things make sense for the birth of the King-Messiah?

Mary pondered all these things in her heart. This was not jumping-up-and-down jubilee, but observing and considering and wondering and thinking about it all. It is not holly-jolly or sentimental or romantic. And definitely not ho, ho, ho. It was not put-on smiles and an overfilled schedule of events. It was a moment-by-moment faith-filled choice.  The Holy Family choosing each second anew to walk out the invisible un-dreamt-of-life God now set before them. An invisible path to be walked out step by step as it unfolded before them to whatever awaited them, which at the moment was likely not fully comprehensible. Holy. And teary. Mary continuing onward even as she was promised this life with and for her beloved Son, Jesus, would cause her heart to be as if pierced with multiple swords. The promise of pain. Not ease or happiness. In the midst, Mary’s response continued to be, “Not my will, but Yours.”

This is the crucified life to which you are called. All of us singly and together.  This year you receive the hard blessing that this is true. You are aware of a cross and have picked it up to follow Christ. It is agony. So, there are tears. Tears are normal, because hardship is normal.

In the dark night of the soul, You are with me and each one. Inscrutable. Majestic. Marvelous. Never leaving or forsaving, especially when I cannot see. Always working through that which is hard to bring Your multi-faceted good. Always, my only rest is in You. My ownly peace in Your promises. And when tears fall, You hold me in ways I cannot see.

27 And prompted by the [Holy] Spirit, he came into the temple [[j]enclosure]; and when the parents brought in the little child Jesus to do for Him what was customary according to the Law,

28 [Simeon] took Him up in his arms and praised and thanked God and said,

29 And now, Lord, You are releasing Your servant to depart (leave this world) in peace, according to Your word.

30 For with my [own] eyes I have seen Your Salvation,

31 Which You have ordained and prepared before (in the presence of) all peoples,

32 A Light for revelation to the Gentiles [to disclose what was before unknown] and [to bring] praise and honor and glory to Your people Israel.

33 And His [legal] father and [His] mother were marveling at what was said about Him.

34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, Behold, this Child is appointed and destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against—

35 And a sword will pierce through your own soul also—that the secret thoughts and purposes of many hearts may be brought out and disclosed.

Luke 2:27-36

38 And he who does not take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conforming wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also] is not worthy of Me.

39 Whoever finds his [lower] life will lose it [the higher life], and whoever loses his [lower] life on My account will find it [the higher life].

Matthew 10:38-39

SONG Recommended: HOPE FOR THE WORLDSo You Sent Your Son album

ONLY JESUS REMAINS PODCASTS

TEARY CHRISTMAS PODCAST

If you are just joining in these reflections, read the Introduction here to learn what these are all about.

for mini-devotions subscribe or connect on Facebook at Spiritual Armor and Ammo .

Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

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