16 December 2008

more to Christmas


finale, originally uploaded by sarahleia.

so have you ever had so many thoughts in your head that you just could not get anything out? i feel like that lately, i sound like that lately. i have thoughts about Christmas and what presents to buy, a burning desire for all of us to be more positive and thankful and "green", lingering thoughts about the election and the upcoming inauguration, stress about work, the economy and how to pay the bills, and even thoughts about color and issues of white and black that i face everyday at work. all of these are just running around in my head as if i had to figure them all out at once. i can't even keep them quiet long enough to read a chapter in a book. i suppose that is why i need to blog. perhaps i should not have let it go this long.

so why do we get so busy this time of year? why do things get so out of control, so out of focus? why are we always so stressed? what is really going on? am i stressed about Christmas or is Christmas just one more thing on my list? i went to see the trans siberian orchestra's Christmas concert on sunday evening at the verizon center. it was amazing. there was just something about it when they played their "O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night." it gripped my heart and moved my soul. i know that sounds dramatic but it really was. it moved me as if i was standing there worshiping even though the others around me in the suite were drinking and having a good time and not at all in that mind set. i was able to have the same moment with God there that i had at the Christmas production at church the night before when i watched the wise men bring gifts to Jesus at the manger. the orchestra is amazing. i don't know if they are all born again or living to use their gifts for His glory, but they are only as good as they are because of Him and He will use them even when they are not aware of it. the presence of God can be anywhere, anytime, especially around this holiday season. so whether the lights are flashing, the violinist is flying across the platform, and there is fire shooting out of the stage or if there is only a simple manger with a single star shining above it, God is here and there is more to the message.

so why do we have such a hard time seeing it? why do we get so caught up in all the hustle and bustle if He really is all around and can use anything to speak to us? it is because we are not looking, our eyes and ears are not open. we are too busy worrying about the lights and the fireworks to notice the manger. the lights and the fireworks are great, like i said, He can use it all, He gave it to us. but we have to be able to see the manger beyond them, we can't get caught up in them. we can't get caught up in the shopping or the decorating or even the production at church that is all about Jesus. we have to have an open heart so that when he wants that moment to count, we are open to it. when we least expect it, in the middle of a party or in your car or at the mall, you have to be open to Him. i don't think i went to that concert thinking i would have a worship experience. but as i was feeling the music and began to sing the words in my head and really thought about what they meant to me, my soul swelled and Jesus met me there, just for a moment.

so what is the point, what is the more, what is the message? i hope that we can all know the true Jesus of Christmas this year. the Jesus that meets us where we are, in any moment and brings peace to our stress and provides in our time of need. we are all so busy and stressed with our lives right now, not just about Christmas, and He simply wants to remind us that He came and He is here. i hope that we don't get so caught up in all of Christmas that we forget to see Him in others and share what we have of Him with those that need it. it is a simple message and one that we hear probably every Christmas. but think about it a little differently this year, not as if we are being scolded again for what we did not do, but being reminded to look for more, more that we have been given for Christmas. this is a time when Jesus came to add love, peace, and joy to our lives. it is all around us, He came, He is here, this is Christmas.