I took a little post-Christmas inventory at one point today. It was a slur of thoughts, really, pouring into my tired head. It went something like this.
Whew. OK. Man, am I tired. I didn't realize I'd been powering it out until it was over and now I want to sleep for three days. But did I do enough? Did my kids "get" it? Did we read the right passages, talk about why Jesus came, and focus enough on selfless giving? And what about how they'll remember me? Was I happy and joy-filled enough to outweigh my stressed, busy and distracted moments? Did I read them the books, do the crafts, bake, and create a magical season for everyone in my home?
Kinda silly, right? It didn't take me long to
Christmas isn't a thing wrapped in shiny paper only to be ripped open, enjoyed and then tossed aside, like every other gift.
It is for every day. Emmanuel was born on Christmas. But His birth was only a beginning, of course. And I am only at the beginning of learning how to receive His gifts.
Truly receive them.
It's hard. Sometimes I shove them away. Peace? No thanks, I think I can handle this on my own. Forgiveness? Not today, because I really feel more comfortable punishing myself a while longer. Rest? Who has time for that?
And sometimes I just leave them under the tree. Unopened. I'm sure there are times I don't even notice the gifts from Jesus sitting right in front of me. I can't list them out because I don't know what they are. I'm just missing out. Neglecting my relationship with the Giver.
So I wanted to tell you this. It's not over. Christmas is a beginning. Perhaps you need a fresh one. I say take it. Run over to the tree, slide down onto your knees, grab it with both arms and shred that paper like a five-year old on Christmas morning.
Some of you have a mental picture of exactly what that looks like. Embrace all He wants to offer you today. There are no gifts more valuable than His love. His forgiveness. His companionship. Oh, do you know what it's like to be His friend?
Tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, I want to be a child at Christmas, still unwrapping.