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Sunday, 18 December 2016

My Christmas Struggle!

Christmas - To Celebrate or Not?

Today's post was inspired by an email to Laura B. who sends me amazing uplifting emails through the year.
Are you conflicted about Christmas?

 I have been struggling with the whole Christmas celebration thing .
I am feeling very torn.

I grew up loving everything about Christmas.
So, how did I lose my joy in celebrating Christ?

Years ago,  when I visited Germany, my heart was turned to a longing for a more Christ focused Christmas ( the Christ Child brings Christmas there).
I tried unsuccessfully to transport this celebration to our family.
So, I  satisfied my longing by trying to bring more Christ into our North American Christmas.
My eldest will remember how we made a gingerbread creche when she was a toddler - Baby Jesus was a pink jelly bean.

After I was reborn, I yearned to serve Christ even more.
I dealt with some of my Christmas conflict by choosing to celebrate Christmas January 6 - the day the 3 Kings supposedly brought gifts to Christ.

I also tried to introduce Christ into Santa type activities.
Laura B. even joined me in an attempted hijacking of the post Omemee Santa Claus parade celebrations with her beautiful rendition of Mary Did You Know?
Yep, I became a real Jesus freak.

Then, just before Easter, for two years in a row,
I had a scripture placed on my heart.

Perhaps you know this verse?

I tire of your man made feasts, ...

Each time I looked it up I was astounded by the appropriateness of its timing  and the chastisement spoke to my heart.

As I have progressed on my Christian walk with God and delved more into my discovery of Our Father , Christ and the Holy Spirit, I discovered the truth behind so many "Christian Holy Days".

Discovering the pagan roots of so many Christmas traditions left me with a combination of shock, frustration and disgust - especially the whole thing about gingerbread.
Heck the Saint Nicholas origins are more Christian than Christmas traditions.

Add on top of this, the amount of misery that results from the impossibly high expectations people place on themselves because of Christmas.
Well,  it  made me survey Christmas with suspicion - like a shiny poison apple presented to society.
Did you know Christmas is the time for more suicides than any other time of year?

Any way, here I am this year again - torn.

On one hand, there is the admonition

When I was a child, I thought as a child,


once our eyes are opened to a sin, we are to cut it out.

On the other hand, I miss the Joy I used to have in having the opportunity to share the love of Christ at Christmas.
Christmas was like a "foot in the door" to open hearts to Christ.
The feelings I now have about Christmas do not seem to be as something from Our Father.

So, where does this leave me?

At the moment, I am thinking about two things:
The importance of judging the spirit behind things placed in our hearts.
My sincere belief that Our Father sees the intentions of our hearts.

Our Father is all about Love and Joy.

My feelings now?
Well,  they are more along the lines of frustration, misery and despair.

Today, I am starting to wonder what spirit placed that scripture in my heart.
Satan is very versatile in scripture and quoted it to Christ.

Was my joy in celebrating Christ stolen?
You bet.

While the origins of our modern day Christmas are pagan, I know Our Father can use the most unlikely things for good
- a stick to part the red sea and lead a people to freedom.
- a smelly stable as the birth place for a King.
- water turned to wine.
- an instrument of horrific death to bring hope to the world.

Today, writing to you, has helped me re -examine that scripture that was placed in  my heart.
Why was Our Father tiring of the man made feasts?
Because people were not appreciating Him!

Now, I see that I can use every opportunity and every single thing to celebrate the incredible Love Our Father has for us.

What matters is not the timing, nor the trappings, but the intention of my heart.

Today,  I am reclaiming my right to be happy and joyous about the Love of Our Father and I will not allow it to be stolen again.

May the Joy of the Lord be yours today and always,

Yours in Christ,

Thanks for listening.
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