Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Greatest Gift...

As it is now the season where we are celebrating the birth of our dear Lord Jesus, it is the time to reflect and be thankful for the many gifts in our lives that are because of that day 2000 years ago.

This is the season where the focus of those who are the disciples of Christ *should* be on the joy and celebration of His birth, and what it has meant to our world.

Yet... the voices are getting louder from those who are saying "enough is enough"... where is the true celebration of the Lord's birth in all of this?

To be honest, as I've read through the book of Acts, it certainly doesn't seem that the Christians there spent as much time (or any time) celebrating and talking about the birth of Christ, as they did His death. Have you ever thought about that?

I've certainly wondered about it.  We know specifically that they set aside a special time to remember the death of the Lord by celebrating the Lord's Supper.  Nowhere else do we read of any celebrations taking place in memory of the birth of Christ.

Researching the topic of Christmas is enormous, and hard to put into a comprehensive understanding of just how Christmas was initially celebrated.  The most plausible explanation comes from the fact that Christmas actually began as a solstice celebration where people could celebrate the winter holidays, and the Christians thought it would be a good time to celebrate the birth of Christ, and so the two celebrations were joined together.

There is much discussion about just how much "Christ" needs to remain in Christmas.  Is celebrating Christ's birth at this time of year something we need to do, and something we need to take a "stand" for? Or was celebrating the birth of Christ really just begun because the Christians of that era wanted to find something to celebrate in December that wasn't pagan?

It has certainly given me a lot of food for thought... but please do your own research, and don't just take my opinions at face value.

So... the whole cause and case for Christmas - however you choose to celebrate it  ~ if you want to give beautiful generous gifts, and decorate your home in a grand way ~  or if you don't celebrate Christmas at all ~ it is not for me to say you are right or wrong.

But in my heart ~ this year ~ as I long to be pleasing to the King of Kings who loved me, and died for me... I feel an unwillingness to participate in the typical celebrations that are taking place this time of year, especially those that are focused on the more material aspects of the holidays rather than on Him.
I even have tried to put out a few items of Christmas decor by going into our storage building, and finding them packed at the very back with furniture, and all kinds of things piled on top of them. I didn't have the heart to pull them out anyway, because I really don't even have room in our tiny living room for them.  So perhaps it is just as well!

This year... for us, the Christmas will be a quiet one.  I do look forward to this time of year to giving a small gift of love to those family and friends who we love, and I don't think the Lord sees anything wrong with that, and celebrating on the day we call Christmas with family and friends and enjoying a meal and fellowship together, and our hope is to keep it full of love, laughter, and joy.

So if you have your home decorated with all the beautiful things you love this time of year, and your heart is full of joy for the gift of love that came to us through the birth of Christ, I do believe that is pleasing to the Lord too.

It all depends on where your heart is!  

And that is really what is important.  Where is your heart?  Is all that you are doing this season because you want to glorify the Lord?  Are you truly celebrating the beautiful gift He imparted to us as He robed himself in flesh, and became a man, taking on our sinful nature, in order to redeem us from ourselves?!

What a joyful thought it is to know, and understand that the very Creator who created me, cared enough to walk the dusty paths of this earth in order to experience for himself the very human nature that He created, and to offer hope to the hopeless.  It is a thought that I really never can wrap my mind around, and I never want to lose the wonder of it.

I pray that wherever you are in this Christmas season, whether your celebrations are big or small, that most of all, you will open your heart to the joy that was brought to earth 2000 years ago in the form of a small child, God robed in flesh... oh the wonder of it all!  

The song "Mary Did You Know" never ceases to bring my heart to tears of joy.  Here it is, sung by the co-writer of this amazing song, Mark Lowry ...



May your Christmas be blessed, and full of the knowledge of the most beautiful gift ever given to mankind, for the gift that has never stopped giving!  My heart never wants to stop praising Him for the difference this gift has made in my life.

I pray that this season of celebrating His birth be a beautiful one for you, surrounded with the presence of the Lord, and the beauty of the knowledge that the greatest gift given to mankind is yours today.




13 comments:

  1. Oh...dear Marilyn! What a beautiful post full of truth...thank you for sharing your thoughts...I agree with you wholeheartedly! Truly...I love Christmas so much and enjoy being with my family celebrating our King's birth! But I do know that it is oh! So easy to get caught up in what is not of the Lord...thank you for a lovely reminder!
    Our celebrations and decorations are simple...just how I like it!
    Blessings to you, dear Marilyn...how delightful to visit with you today!
    Hugs and Merry Christmas!
    Kelly-Anne

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    1. It is wonderful to be able to keep things simple, and celebrate the King of Kings during this time of year, as indeed it is quite easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season! I do pray you and your family enjoy a very blessed time of year, especially with the anticipation of a new precious little brother in your family! Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family!

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    1. Amen and amen! Thanks for your comment that says it all! :)

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  3. Marilyn, you have shared your heart here dear friend...and I thank you from my heart. It is hard to bring Christ into this celebration, because in all honesty his birth was a simple, humble one. Not the way the world seems to celebrate. We do enjoy decorating on a small scale but it is almost as a way of celebrating the end of the year. In Latin America we tend to celebrate the visit of the wise men and the fact that they brought gifts to the child. This is when we give presents to each otter as a way of remembering the three wise men's visit. My focus for this time of year is on Him completely. His coming was the beginning of our redemption and that is something I never forget!
    Thank sweet lady for sharing your heart.

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    1. Oh what a beautiful thing it is to allow the Lord to be King in all that we do! I am praying that the Lord blesses your Christmas in a sweet and wonderful way! I appreciate you and your visits here so very much! May the Lord continue to bless and keep you in His care :)

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  4. That is one of my favorite songs. SO beautiful.

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    1. It is a beautiful song. So many beautiful songs this time of year, but this one almost always brings tears to my eyes. Have a blessed and beautiful day Kim! :)

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  5. Blessed Christmas to you and yours! Happily here from the Unite link up.

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    1. Thank you for your visit, it is very much appreciated, and I'm glad to have joined you at the linkup :)

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  6. OH, my! How did I miss this post? I am always so excited to see your posts in my inbox, and somehow, in my silliness, this one escaped me! Such true words, and I am so thankful for your explanation on it all. We have often wondered how Jesus really feels about it all...but, as you said, I believe it is all about where our heart is, and how intent we are on pleasing Him in all we do...not just at the blessed time of Christmas, but EVERY DAY of the year. He wants our hearts and our all, and oh, I gladly surrender it to Him Who died for me and paid such a price for my redemption!! Thank you for your gentle, kind heart and precious way of saying things, sweet friend. You are such a dear blessing to me! Sending you much love and many hugs!!

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    1. Indeed, we must honor Him always with our hearts, whatever it is we are doing, and not lose sight of HIM in the midst of the busyness of our lives! I'm so glad that we can honor the Lord, not just on one day of the year, but every day! Appreciate your sweet kind words so much, as always! I always treasure each and every word you write, they mean so much! Praying that your day is blessed, and full of the presence of the Lord :) Much love to you!

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  7. I wanted to read this when I really had the time to sit and be still and really let it soak in. Over the years I have pared way back on the secular aspects of Christmas and have purposed to keep my focus on Christ. I do enjoy decorating a little. Nothing major. Just a few things to bring a bit of joy into our little cottage. Our creche reminds us daily why we celebrate this season. Emmanuel - God with us. Christmas Day and EVERY day He lives and breathes in those who have received Him as Savior. I try to remember that, and to live the love of Christmas every day of the year. I fail miserably, but it is my desire to glorify Christ. This year we invited a widow from our church to join us for Christmas dinner and games of dominoes after. To see the smile on her face and feel the warmth of her hug when she said good-night and thanked me before she got into her car and drove off, was the greatest gift I could have received. As I walked back to our cottage through the snow, I was filled with what I believe is the true joy of the Lord. And a sense that He was pleased with our celebration of Christmas. Love to you, dear friend. ~ Nancy

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Your comments are blessings to me, and I appreciate each and every one, they are precious to me! I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my blog... this is what makes blogging worthwhile! Have a blessed day!