Saturday, December 11, 2010

Holidays or Holy Days?

Benjamin decorating the tree

'Tis the season...of busyness.

And I have accomplished little.

The house is decorated, thanks to a creative daughter and three goofy boys whom she dragged off the X-Box to help her from time to time while I lay on the sofa, dizzily watching them flit about, feverish chills disrupting my attempts at rest.

I have purchased one gift for my mother. That's it.

I have so many needs pulling at my time. At least school is mostly over for the boys, and I have this week to write and copy our annual Christmas missive, to take our family photo, to purchase gifts, to start preparing the house for our annual Christmas Eve celebration with Keith's side of the family. We're only buying for our own kids this year, and a little something for my parents. With finances as they are, we're keeping the kids at $20-25 apiece, plus their stockings.

But my real need this Christmas is to attend church, either Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning, something we usually don't do because of family celebrations on both days. I want more than anything else (yes, even more than the Kindle the whole family is pitching in to get for me) to worship the King on His birthday, to sing carols with a large group of worshippers, to watch candles glimmer and celebrate this Holy Day the way He should be celebrated.

The other things--the gifts, the food, the gatherings--are nothing next to our need for Him. I pray that my focus, our family's focus, for the remainder of Advent and through the Twelve Days following Christmas will be upon the One Who came, the One Who is coming again.

And I pray for a Holy Advent--for myself, for those I love, for those I know, and for those I don't know. I pray for true "Holy Days"--days "set apart" for Him--to pray to, to sing to, to focus on, to meditate upon, to celebrate fully Him Who is Love.

As Christina Rossetti writes in her beautiful Christmas carol "Love Came Down at Christmas":
Love Came Down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, love divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.
So, no, I have little accomplished in the way of Christmas preparations, yet I pray that as I do these tasks, He will be glimmering in my heart and mind, reminding me that these things, although enjoyable and fun, are not the heart of these Holydays.

He is.

"Love was born at Christmas"...

all thanks, praise, and glory be to God.

Wishing you and yours a holy Advent,

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