The other day I did some grocery shopping and actually checked out with a real person. This is something I never do anymore, I always opt for online grocery pickup or the self checkouts because the lines are usually shorter and my time is typically crunched. This day though I had a basket heaping full of the essentials and a gift card that can be stubborn so I decided it’d be easier to shop in-person and hit up the live cashier route to pay.
As I placed my items on the conveyor belt I could hear the customer ahead of me and the cashier as they made small talk. The woman checking out placed the last of her shopping bags into her cart, commenting she “just can’t get into the Christmas spirit this year, you know?” The cashier nodded helplessly as if she seemed to agree and without elaborating they finished the transaction and both moved on with their day.
And I just haven’t been able to get that bleak comment out of my head.
I get it for sure, but it’s sad.
It’s sad how much we’re impacted by life and fickle feelings — and yet Christmas comes regardless as a celebration of Jesus’ birth which is the absolute best truth ever. We just can’t risk missing that reality and the joy that should take place in our hearts because of it. Jesus is the only reason Christmas is even a thing.
Despite everything going on around us or how things have played out this year or any year, Christmas still comes, and it’s such a wonderful reminder of God’s faithfulness. He is why we celebrate — and in Him nothing has changed.
Literally as Christians, the most precious part of our lives was wrapped in the highest amount of God’s love in the form of our Savior, Jesus. Every ounce of that thought should be remarkably beautiful and profound to us. We should feel joy and gratefulness at the mention of Christ’ name and the idea of His unique life.
When we look at the recordings of Jesus’ arrival (Matthew 1 & 2 / Luke 1 & 2) even that season wasn’t all cinnamon sticks and mistletoe. The lives weren’t flawless of those who were aware of Jesus’ greatness. There wasn’t a picture perfect scene when Christ’ due date arrived. Perhaps Mary would’ve preferred a bed at a Motel 6 rather than straw in a stable but regardless Jesus birth wasn’t stopped!!!
Oh when I think of how imperfect all the details were, I’m humbled.
Physically our Christmas celebration may indeed look different this year, but our hearts have no reason to when we’re focused on Him.
No matter the chaos, the changes we’re experiencing, or the unknown we can still rejoice because the greatest gift ever was born 2000 years ago and by our faith we get to be a part of that ongoing blessing.
There isn’t anything capable of altering this truth.
It brings me peace and joy this Christmas season knowing and trusting that as things may seem undesirable or unstable, God is still fully in control — just as much as He was back in what was surely a dirty but most purposeful nativity scene stable.
Sweet ‘Christ’mas blessings to you all!!
‘She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’
God, help me to celebrate Christmas because of you and your love for the world. Things may not look the same as last year’s traditions but still you are the same. You are unchanging and faithful and you are the perfect reason for every Christmas season. AMEN!