Thursday, December 25, 2008

In Christ-mas Alone

I spent my first Christmas Eve alone with Jesus.

No tree this year.
No colorful decorations.
No big feast.
No family or friends around to celebrate (most were on vacation or with their families).

I went to work in the morning and came home in the late afternoon.
Ate leftovers Mom left me.
Did some chores around the house.
Stared at my friends' holiday cards lying on my bookshelf.
Glanced at the small set of gifts in the corner of my bedroom.

Up to last night, I was secretly hoping something would come up.
Maybe someone would be kind enough to invite me to their place to celebrate.
Maybe Mom & my sister's flight will be canceled and they can spend the holiday with me.

Maybe it would start snowing and I could sleigh down my hilly street. (Snow in LA....pray that God will do it, ok?)

But none of those happened.  Just me and Jesus for the night.

I cracked open my Bible to read my devotion (and it's admittedly been a while).  This caught my eye:

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." ~ John 15:9-11

Notice the first-person references Jesus makes with the word "love".  Notice how direct and personal He makes it for anyone reading.

In the midst of being on my own this holiday season, if I confessed my need for God, I would imagine He might respond with:

"Could it be that all these things were stripped away so you can be closer to me?  It's what it's all about. I love you so much that it's the only thing I want you to see this season: love.  It's this love I have for you that I crossed over to your life with my only son.  Don't try to cover this fact with anything or anyone else.  Let my love be your joy this year."

I brought out my guitar and worshiped.
I prayed.
I gave out free Facebook gifts w/ notes to people I haven't seen in a while.
I browsed through the many pictures I had with friends.
I was blessed with a great joy & peace I haven't felt in a while.

I don't know how you're celebrating Christmas.  You might be spending it alone or with someone(s) special,  at home or elsewhere, with many presents or none.  But I'm beginning to think that more than anything, God wants a closer relationship with us and His love through the Son is the greatest gift that can bring us the greatest joy.  And all those trees, families, and decorations can't nearly wrap a present that beautiful.

Merry Christmas, everyone. =)


Jules said...

Actually, if I knew you weren't doing anything I'd give ya a call because I wasn't doing anything either :) You probably had a more meaningful Christmas than I did. Thanks for sharin'!

Kali said...

Your Christmas was spent the way it was supposed to be spent. Your reflections were touching & quieting. I think of that verse, "Be still and know that I am God." -Psalm 46:10

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