Christmas Spirit? Bah Humbug!

Christmas spirit. Do you have it? Are you in it?

Have you said, or heard someone else say, “I’m just not in the Christmas spirit yet?”

I found myself having this conversation more than once today. Sure, I’m going to Christmas choir practice at church, I’ve made a few purchases, I’m attending Christmas events, and I’m putting up a tree. By all appearances I’m celebrating Christmas, but I don’t feel Christmassy.

What is the Christmas spirit?

I’m thinking about the shepherds from Luke chapter two tonight.

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known unto us.”

And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen as it was told them. Luke 2:8-20

Even in the midst of the darkest hour, Christmas spirit brings calm to our fear and great joy. For regardless of our situation or location, a Savior was born in Bethlehem.

Christmas spirit is calming and joyful.

How calm is your Christmas? My Christmas is crazy. My Christmas is stressful. I’m not sure calm is an adjective I’d use to describe Christmas. The shepherds were very afraid. The angels told them not to be afraid.

Calm down, shepherds, calm down.

How many times a day does God whisper this to me?

“Calm down, Carrie, calm down. I got this. I’m already there. More importantly, I already sent my Son, Jesus, and the battle’s already been won. Calm down, and stop being so afraid.”

We get so stressed over things that God has already taken care of that we forget He wants us to be fearless. When God is on our side, whom shall we fear?

After insturctions to relax, the angels inform the shepherds that the news they bring carries great joy that will be to all nations. Not only will the shepherds find pleasure in the news, but the entire world will be filled with joy to the point of overflowing. How amazing is that?

Is our joy overflowing? In the midst of my mess, a Savior was born just for me. His birth is worth celebrating. It should fill my heart so full that it is overflowing.

Finally, the angels gave the shepherds directions to find the Savior. They didn’t leave them to their own devices. They didn’t just tell them what they knew and leave. They gave them the news and then offered a plan for them to follow.

How many times does God do the same for me?

“Get a grip, Carrie! Now, take a moment to celebrate. Here is the plan to get you where you need to be next.”

Healing, celebration, motivation.

In one small newborn baby, Christmas spirit was born. Peace, goodwill toward men. A way has been made for us to live at peace with one another. God has provided a way for us.

Healing, celebration, motivation, and restoration.

The shepherds could have stayed in that field tending their sheep and having the biggest party the sheep had ever witnessed, but they didn’t. Instead, they set out to see the Savior with their own eyes.

What they sought, they found, and even that was not enough. The shepherds went forth telling everyone what they had been told about the child. And people were amazed by what they heard.

The shepherds then returned praising God for all they had seen and heard.

Christmas spirit is sharing Jesus with everyone we come in contact in a joyful manner.

That sounds like a “duh” statement, doesn’t it? Yet when I reflect on my last twenty-four hours, I’m embarrassed by my lack of joy. I’m embarrassed by my lack of sharing Jesus.

All of the sudden my Christmas spirit seems to be lacking but for an entirely different reason than I mentioned earlier today. It has nothing to do with the weather, snow, fires in fireplaces, gifts, dinners, cookies, cards, or any of those other mundane “Christmas” tasks that have me stressed out.

Christmas spirit is about loving others the way God loves me. It’s about taking time to let Him lead me the way the star led the wisemen, the angels directed the shepherds, and His still small voice wants to lead me. Christmas spirit would be fearlessly, joyfully leading others to Christ regardless of situation and location.

Sometimes we need to take a look at what we believe something is as opposed to what it truly is. You see, I know Christ is the reason for the season. I have never doubted that particular fact. Unfortunately, I have let the hustle and bustle redefine Christmas spirit for me and therefore have not been behaving in a very Christmassy spirit.

Just as Scrooge changes in A Christmas Carol, I believe I too can change for the better.

photo credit: Gamma”>”>Gamma Man via photopin”>photopin> cc”>cc>


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