Jesus in a corner

Christianity, Christmas, Uncategorized

Sometimes we put Jesus in a corner. Or an attic.

I find myself doing that sometimes, literally and figuratively. I was ALL happy with myself three days after Christmas when I took all the decor down and put almost all of it in boxes.

Since I’ve de-glittered the house, and still had packed up boxes of Christmas decor out in view, I’ve thought about how we treat Jesus sometimes.

I packed up my nativity scene from the dining table and had Baby Jesus tucked safely in styrofoam. You could still see him because I didn’t put away the styrofoam completely in the box for a while.

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I’m missing a piece, but I don’t think anyone noticed this Christmas. The most important Person was in the scene….Jesus.

After I procrastinated a couple of weeks, I taped up the tired Christmas tree box and put it all the way in the back of the attic. We won’t need it for 11 months, and I wanted it out of the way.

I wonder how often we do this with Jesus in our lives. We have seasons and times that we give Him the spotlight. He’s the focus, the reason, our everything. We may give Him full and complete access to every part of our hearts and lives.

Little by little, though, sometimes we put him in a corner. Subtly.

It doesn’t happen on purpose. At first.

But when we begin to struggle with anger, or disappointment, or hurt, we may shun Jesus a little because we don’t want to forgive. Or we don’t want to face our part and change. Or we want justice, and that feels right.

Jesus may be put into a corner because we begin to get busy. It is, after all, a new year. New goals, health focus, workouts, check my social media feed, work, sports, kids activities, hobbies, gotta check my phone again.

Distractions. Not on purpose, but it happens sometimes.

Sometimes giving Jesus full access to our hearts feels scary. Paradoxically. Because there’s no one more trustworthy than the One who crafted and created us. He knows the deepest parts of us, every longing and worst thought, yet lavishly loves us.

Intentionality. If you and I want to keep Jesus front and center in our lives, it will take the choice to be intentional. Carving out time to be with Him. Choosing to focus my thoughts on Him during my everyday tasks.

Brother Lawrence in Practice of the Presence of God explains this much better that I can. It’s a short and sweet, very practical read.

Will you and I put Jesus in a corner, or way back in the recesses of our heart’s “attic”?

May we people who seek Him with our whole hearts, forsaking other stuff that doesn’t really matter. May we be people who REST and soak in His presence.

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I know I was thinking this the whole time. How about you?

My favorite Christmas season

Christmas, Jesus
our mantle

our mantle

So far, this has been my favorite Christmas season to date….the least stressful and most relaxed. I have been reflecting on that, and wondering, why?

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

1. We don’t have a huge list of people to buy for. We have never practiced the Santa tradition in our family (gasp!) but since our kids are high school and college, we don’t feel the need to go nuts with presents. They’ll have some things to unwrap and hopefully a couple of surprises. One of our extended families (mine) played the draw-a-number-then-pick-a-present-or-steal game instead of the huge, expensive normal gift exchange this year, and it was fantastic. I highly recommend it!! Lots of fun and we all went home with something we liked but wouldn’t have bought for ourselves.

2. I’m not going crazy baking, cooking, or crafting. I love doing those things, but I’m just doing them throughout the year as I feel like it. No pressure to do anything added to our normal stuff this Christmas.

3. Minimal Christmas decorations. One partially decorated tree in the living room, a wreath on each window on the front of the house (which I think looks really cute and simple), some greenery with berries and stockings on the mantle. The end. Still looks a little festive, but nothing crazy around here.

4. No Christmas card with Christmas letter. Are you thinking, what a Scrooge? Well, at our house it’s kinda opposite….If you have all kinds of Christmas craziness going on, then you probably have one cranky mama on your hands. I’m a little cranky today, but not because I feel pulled in million different directions with Christmas craziness.

I don’t think Jesus minds that we’re celebrating Him this year with a little less excess and a little more joy. That equals a Merry Christmas around here.

christmas mantle

christmas mantle

Our simple but festive house

Our simple but festive house

Jesus: Why we celebrate Christmas

Christmas

If you need a feel-good moment this morning, then have a seat. Take five minutes of your life, grab a coffee or hot chocolate, and join in celebrating Jesus as you watch this video:

 

I love holidays, but especially as we celebrate Christmas, let’s remember Jesus: He’s the Christ in Christ-mas. He’s the Holy in holi-days.