"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
~ ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens
My little Lady came home from church gabbing it up about a song she heard a friend sing in rehearsals for the Christmas play.
Lady: "It was a song about not having anything to give to Jesus. It was so sweet...it's gonna make all the parents cry. She sings so sweetly, and says she's gonna give Jesus her heart."
Me: "I guess none of us really have anything better to offer Jesus, huh? God always really wants only one thing: our hearts."
That's what really drives all this Advent business. Christmas is a concentrated dose of what life is really supposed to be about.
His light is the life of all people; our source of all things. Somehow, Advent reminds even the most impatient soul that waiting for God is a holy privilege.
We celebrate Christmas, but we are made to cling to Advent.
And it doesn't always look the same in every family.
We may choose to do Santa or not. Either way, our hearts can pass through the Advent season untouched by God.
We may have money to buy goats for villages or to stuff shoeboxes for children in orphanages. Even if we give our last penny we could still hold back our heart.
We can read Advent scriptures, proclaim that Jesus is the reason for the season, and we can still forget the sweetness of a baby that is fully God and fully man, born to save us from sin and sorrow.
The real gift of Christmas is an open doorway to Christ. God help us if we find this door only for the month of December.
It should always be Advent in our hearts. We await Immanuel's birth in our circumstances, in our families, and in our souls all year long.
It's always Advent in heaven. God awaits our coming to Him and the gift of hearts living wholly for Him for all of eternity.
A deeper gaze into Christmas and all its beauty and love will make your heart grow three sizes bigger.
Listen closely to the Christmas songs that play 24/7 on the radio. Take a batch of cookies to the neighbors with a Merry Christmas greeting. Look with deep wonder at the lights strung on rooftops. Hold tight to the smiles of children as they poke at presents under the tree. Spend less on Christmas dinner and send the extra to someone who needs more than just a merry Christmas this year.
After all, it's Christmas.
Christmas will unwrap your heart and before you know it, you will keep it all the year through.
Happy Advent, friends. May the waiting be as wonderful as the true Gift.