Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Holds No Rules

At our recent local HEN (home education network) meeting we discussed Christmas. We discussed the right or preferred ways to give gifts, handle traditions, host events, and make things meaningful. One young mom shared she just wished she didn't have to do all the expected things, she felt burdened by Christmas. That is when another mother spoke up and shared this treasured thought:

There are NO rules in Christmas.

Yep. None.
There might be expectations or traditions, but there are NO real rules.

There is no rule you need a tree.
There is no rule you have to do Advent, even if you have written an Advent book.
You don't have to bake cookies, fast or eat specific things.
There is no rule your children have to be in the church Christmas pageant.
We don't have to sing specific songs or start listening to Christmas carols starting December 1st.
There is no rule you have to decorate, invite others over or go to parties with ugly sweaters.
You don't even have to buy presents... GASP! (Is that borderline heresy??)

There are NO rules in regard to Christmas, not one is listed or even mentioned in the Word of God. While all of the above are nice and enjoyable and most likely expected; you don't have to do anything for Christmas. Additionally, you have the freedom to do different things every year if you desired!

I think Christmas mandates are intentionally left out of the Word by the Lord of the manger because if specifics were required we'd most likely miss the whole point of what Christmas endeavors to remember...

We can do nothing that is required of us... Jesus came to do what we cannot ever do for ourselves!

The incarnation reminds us One was sent, he fully did what was required, and it had no baring on our merit, abilities, actions, family traditions, or anything we do or personally possess.

"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly... But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5: 6 and 8

Christmas isn't about doing something required.
It never ever was. It is about God giving us something we never deserved, for His glory alone.

Those who participated first hand in the very first Christmas didn't "do" things, they just surrendered into it, they were amazed and lost in it all. At best, we can emulate this "lost-ness" at Christmas. Christmas is about seeing the glory of God on full display and being lost in it so much that you give up trying... and just wonder at it all! 

"Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be." Luke 2:29


"Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God.  All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him." Luke 1:64-66


"When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” Luke 2:15


"All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:18-20


"The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him." Luke 2:33


"When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh." Matthew 2:10-11

There are NO rules. 
Be free to just marvel, wonder, be in awe, and worship God without hindrance in this season!

1 comment:

Julianna said...

Amen, beautiful words to read this morning.
thank you