It has been over two thousand years since God became a man in the form of a baby boy named Jesus. The circumstances of His birth were astounding. His parents were courageous and uniquely devoted to God. His life was eventful and anything but normal. He was divine and human. He was perfect. He was a Savior.
His mother travelled on the back of a donkey many miles and He was born in a less than royal place. He was laid in a manger and He was loved as He loved. Shepherds left their flocks to find him. Wise men sought him from other parts of the world. Kings hated him. And yet, He was perfect. He was a Savior.
Mellinnials later, crowds push through each other to fight over electronics. Calendars are too full for comfort. Homes are ravaged by gift opening. Lives are torn by financial hardship. Time flies by all too quickly. But there He sits. A perfect Savior.
I may appear to be Mayor of Grinchville lately and I apologize for any toes I have stepped on. In all honesty, I am not cranky or even "Grinch-y". I just feel like I am seeing my Savior for the first time this year. I am seeing the season for all that it has become and all that it has lost.
We have lost the purity of worshipping a Savior that was given as the perfect gift to a people who had done everything to damage a relationship with their Maker. We have lost the ability to recognize that there is a bigger picture out there than our own wants and desires, that there is a Savior that deserves and demands our respect and our honor. We have lost the need for a Savior at all, because we are too busy relying on our credit cards and busy lives to notice that He even exists.
The "Christ" in the season has been replaced with jolly fat men, perfectly decorated homes, holiday events, and the newest gadget and toy.
We have become so focused on what pleases us that we have forgotten that we should be attempting to please Him. We argue over what is "right" and "wrong" this time of year. We scramble to find the perfect presents. We dress ourselves in festive clothes. All in the name of us. None in the name of Him.
King Herod, probably the most hated part of the Christmas Story... is our society. He was concerned about only himself. He was hateful and cruel. He was arrogant and self-centered.
But the wise men and shepherds, they understood. They came with one goal in mind. To worship at the feet of the King. They did not fully understand or know the full intentions of God as an infant. Nor could they comprehend how the story would unfold. What they did know, was that He deserved worship and praise.
And He still does today.
The true meaning of Christmas is certainly Jesus. But it is even more than that. We could acknowledge that He was born and still not grasp the fullness of the season. We could recognize His existence and still not fully understand the extent of His love for our lives.
The true meaning of Christmas is not attempting to please anyone.
But instead to worship One.
My kids will receive gifts.
We have attended parties.
Our home is decorated.
But my heart has been empty.
Because I have not given my Savior what He deserves.
We could all spend a lifetime trying to catch up with the Jones', out gift each other, decorate better, attend more parties, and never be jolly or cheerful. A lifetime of trying to please those around us will do nothing but exhaust and disappoint.
This Christmas I have allowed my focus to drift. I have succumbed to the temptation to please others when all along my heart has desired to be in one place. Beside the manger worshipping my Savior.
The real Christmas Spirit can only be found when we have taken a moment to get on our knees and worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Have you? Are you up to your ears in Holiday frustrations and stress? Are you doing all you can to please and appease? A few moments in the presence of your perfect Savior will change your perspective and make the season "jolly" again.
That kind of selfless cheer will make any Grinch's heart swell in size.