Since Thanksgiving, we've been busy:
Decorating the Christmas tree
Baking (and eating) cookies
Making a few cards (and, today, discovering that the adhesive I used is not adhesive at all!)
Sadly, my old nemesis Depression has moved in for the holiday. (I'm thankful that he left his friend Anxiety at home this time.) He's not as demanding this visit. Still, he makes me wonder how decorations and cookies help us prepare our hearts for the arrival of Christ. I'm not talking about the commercialism, because gifts aren't a big deal in our family. I mean all the other "stuff," the busyness that fills the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It seems to me that it's more of a distraction than preparation.
And at this time of year when so many of our activities are social, Depression makes me want to withdraw. He wants me all to himself, to spend time with no one but him. I'm fighting him on this, because I know it's better for me to spend time with good people. People who encourage me and whom I can encourage. Yet it can be hard to spend time with people who are joyful about Christmas coming. For example, I love being with the women in my Bible study: bubbly Karen, thoughtful Judy, quiet Lillian, and so on. We have a wonderful group of godly, compassionate women. I hope I can sneak out of the house and leave Depression behind when I go to the brunch with these ladies. I know we'll be remembering the real meaning of Christmas, even as we share food and swap books.
We hear "Keep Christ in Christmas" so often that it's become trite. We sing the same carols so often that we don't pay attention to the lyrics. We get so wrapped up in decorating and baking and shopping and wrapping that it's easy to forget the miracle of the Incarnation. I mean, how utterly amazing is it that Jesus--God the Son--gave up all He has in heaven to come to earth for us? He took on human form and suffered and died a horrific death for us. For my sin and your sin. We were ruined and He came to rescue us, even at great cost to Himself.
I think that's why I like this song by Downhere, which reminds me of the price Jesus paid and how precious that gift is.
How many kings stepped down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
How many gods have poured out their hearts
to romance a world that has torn all apart?
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?
Only one did that for me.