Christmas Reflection

How should a Christmas be? Is Christmas good when the time is filled with joyful songs, when the house is clean and the food delicious? What provides those days with their festive character? The lights? The tree? Colourfully wrapped gifts? 

We tend to worry those days about so many things. We are so busy striving for our Christmas to be perfect or at least much better than all the other days of the year. And it’s a beautiful desire, but it’s not how it was in Bethlehem.

It was simple, poor, cold and probably noisy. The stable floor was hard, and the hay prickly. The sheep were dirty and smelled, and the shepherds were many and loud.  

And it was God who made all the difference.  

And though we still place an empty manger under the Christmas tree, the celebration of Christmas is not about recreating the conditions of the ancient Judean town. Neither is it about providing now a perfect room for God, filled with golden lights and vibrant colours. Christmas is about acknowledging that Jesus is willing to come wherever we are at the moment. 

So maybe you’re stressed and tired. Perhaps you were striving so hard, and there are still so many tasks keeping your thoughts far away from the Christmas spirit. Maybe you were promising yourself to pour extra love on your family this year, but you woke up annoyed or distracted. Perhaps the Christmas tree is not green enough. Maybe some gifts haven’t arrived on time.  

It’s alright: Your heart right here right now is enough for the Lord

So as you’re discovering your private Bethlehem, your own “House of Bread”, may you be filled with grace. May your entire household experience Jesus’ heartfelt love. May you open your soul and allow Jesus into the truth of how you really are: in your joy and sadness, in your hope and despair, in your loves and your longings. Entrust it all to Him and allow Him to transform the poverty of your stable into the radiant church. 

Because you are His church, His chosen generation, His own special people, His new and favourite creation, you’re loved, free and beloved, and He is your God, so let Him in. 

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