When It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas

The candles flicker in their mason jar holders. Fake candles they are, because heaven knows I’d burn the house down with real fire.

Christmas looks different this year. It feels different. It even smells different.

Our old dollar store decorations look tired and beg a well earned rest from their decade plus of duty. The kids and I scour the parking lot for some pine cones during Stella’s viola lesson. Pines and palms flourish in Florida. Who knew?

No gloves on our fingers or necks wrapped in scarves. Jackets and heat are optional with these moderate temperatures. Not that we mind, but my mind is having a hard time remembering Christmas is just a few weeks away.

Traditions don’t have the same traditional feel and maybe that’s why the stories seem so fresh and new.

Oh, they’re old all right. Old but alive, ancient but relevant, the same but not stale, familiar but uncommon. And this same Word I’ve heard become flesh before, opens my eyes and heart of flesh again to see the glory of God in his humble, newborn human face. Whoever said he didn’t cry must never have been around a baby. Babies cry. And this One did too. But not selfishly or angrily. Even his cries were perfect. Just like every word he spoke. How I need this Word of God incarnate! I can barely read my advent devotional this year because I don’t want to hear what other people say about him. I want to hear what he says. And how I need all that he speaks – every single word of it – making my simple mind wise, my weary soul revived, and my wandering heart to stay and rejoice.

He meets us always where we are, not where we used to be, or where we should be. He doesn’t need a change of address card to keep track of his own. He always holds us in the palm of his hand and none have ever been lost. And where we are, he speaks words we need to hear. Words that change us, maybe not our circumstances, but us. Because he knows our need. He knows because he’s omniscient, yes. But, thankfully, he knows too because he’s incarnate. To our weakness he’s no stranger. He feels it because he lived it.

So, Word of God, speak! Would you pour down like rain…or snow…or sunshine? Wherever we are, whatever we need, because you know.


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