Nearly everywhere I look, another article appears on how to “manage holiday stress,” “minimize holiday engagements,” or “request more purposeful gift-giving from grandparents.”
It is true, stress and exhaustion can drain us during this season.
But, dear mother, may I speak to you frankly?
These articles are wrong. They have it backward.
We should not be withdrawing from the Christmas celebrations, but, rather, leading them!
We, as Christians, ought to “corner the market” when it comes to all things Christmas.
We are the ones, after all, who are celebrating the Messiah’s birth. Celebrating God becoming man, Heaven coming down, and freedom from Adam’s curse.
For it was a curse which weighed heavily, and it was deliverance which was required. Deliverance from the constant need to sacrifice. Deliverance from the ceremonial laws for uncleanness. Deliverance from the separation of God and man.
Or do you not recall the bondage God’s people endured for thousands of years? Do you not remember the groaning God’s people uttered for hundreds of years? Men fought for blessings and birthrights in the hope that the Messiah would appear through their lineage. Women prayed for – and even at times deceived for – the hope that the Messiah would be born of their womb.
It is the Messiah’s coming we anticipate during Advent, and it is His long-awaited arrival we hail on Christmas Day. We are now free from Adam’s curse, and our Savior has now crushed the Serpent’s head!
Is this not cause to string up those Christmas lights, decorate another gingerbread house, stir up another batch of fudge, and overwhelm our tree with ornaments?
Is this not cause to give extravagantly and to receive adoringly?
We need not strive in order to be noticed, for that is misplacing the point of our worship.
We need not spend without discretion, for that is misusing the gifts God has given.
But we must strive. And we must spend. We must be the people most filled with Christmas cheer, Christmas giving, and Christmas reveling.
Yes, dear mother, this will exhaust you. And, yes, this may overwhelm you.
But why is that so wrong and why is that so bad? Is it not, rather, the sign of hearty celebration and exuberant rejoicing?
Indeed, if you are neither exhausted nor spent at the end of Christmas, you are doing it wrong.
For God gave you a body to exhaust and to spend. God gave you a cup to pour out and to use up. He Himself poured out His own blood for you and He Himself spent His own body for yours. Why should yours be reserved alone?
So grab those Christmas lights and hang them tonight.
Find those baking pans and fill them right now.
Gather your family to sing songs of Christmas.
Bring near your children to read stories of Advent.
And when you lie down tonight, head aching and limbs as Jell-O, rest in good faith knowing you have celebrated well.
Knowing the point of your celebration is greater than even we imagine.
Knowing your work of celebration will yield a harvest of joy and hearts of worship.
For He has come, dear mother. And joy is ours.
Lauren is the proud wife of her Army Ranger (Jacob) and the busy mom of her four children (ages 6 and under).
Her passion is inspiring other women to cast off their binding chains and to march onward and upward toward the call of Christ Jesus.
"Further up and further in!"