Every year at Thanksgiving, it’s like this entire culture breathes a sigh of collective relief that we can stop waiting for Christmas. Sure, there is that neighbor who put his lights up in October and Christmas STUFF has been inching its way onto store shelves for weeks now. I even heard Christmas songs playing on the radio last week. But as soon as we eat that turkey meal and give thanks, it’s official: we can go all crazy Christmas up in here.
I love the Christmas season. Everything from licking the icing from my fingers after making sugar cookies to the hush of the candlelight service at church. There is something magical about this time of year. More than any other time, December brings with it a FEELING. A sense of expectation and of excitement. But also, for many, there is the sense of stress and loss. It can be a difficult financial time for people and often brings with it the reminder of those important people who will NOT be around the family table this year.
The downside to Christmas is the commercial aspect. The rush for gifts and the sense of pressure to have things perfect: to have enough gifts under the tree and for teachers, to have the house decorated and festive, to attend all those Christmas parties with the right baked goods. Traffic is nuts. The mall is nuts. YOU might be nuts.
That’s why we all need to pause. We all need to take a breath and take a moment (or a few) to be reminded of awe. To really think about what this time of year means and to marvel at the wild idea that the God of the universe took on flesh. Jesus was very God, swaddled up in a cloth like so many other babies. His mother labored and delivered in a barn. This event was so huge that the stars even showed it and hosts of angels sang to shepherds in the field. THIS STUFF IS MARVELOUS.
But sometimes we hear it year after year and it becomes dull. Our senses, too, lose their sharpness and we get bored by the Christmas story. We don’t think deeply about it or really wonder or marvel at this amazing and awe-inspiring true story.
Do you want to be awed this Christmas? Do you want to marvel again and think deeply about the things that Mary treasured in her heart so many years ago?
This year I’m doing something new. I’ve started a Facebook community for the sole purpose of inspiring this kind of awe at Christmas. I plan to post one to two threads a day that I hope will lead to deep thought and maybe even discussion for those that want to journey through awe together. Let’s wonder as we wander toward Christmas! The group will be loosely based around my advent devotional, Make Him Room. And lest you think I’m just plugging my book for money, it will be FREE December 1-5 on Amazon. (The ebook version will be free, but the print copy will still be about $8.) I’d love for you to snag the devotional, which pairs Old Testament and New Testament together to show how God weaved his plan through ALL history. But you don’t have to read the book to be in the community so I hope you will join us.
And one more freebie! Click to download a Christmas Awe of questions to inspire awe this Christmas. Whether you read these with your kids or by yourself or with your spouse, I think these will get you really thinking about the magic, mystery, and magnitude of Christmas.