Sunday, December 13, 2009

Celebrating Jesus


Something that has been bothering me lately as I have been celebrating Christmas is the fact that so many Christians seem to think that focusing on Christ's birth AND doing the old-fashioned holiday traditions are mutually exclusive. If I am enjoying baking and Christmas tunes and crafting and tree-hunting, then I am not focusing on the "Reason for the season". Christians seem to pendulum swing...giving in to enjoying the traditional ways of celebrating in America but then out of some strange sense of guilt that those things aren't "spiritual", they don their serious, sober faces and quickly retreat to read Luke 2.

This feels strange and disheartening to me.

Baking and merry-making and music and parties and gift-giving ARE my acts of celebrating His coming. All are simple acts of Advent worship. I do these things because of the Joy I have that He is here...Emmanuel! I don't need to segregate the "spiritual" from the so-called "secular". I am finding Jesus in those traditions...He can be seen in the symbols of the tree, the wreaths, the lights, the music, the gifts and the feasting. We don't need to drum up spiritual focus or spiritual feelings...just enjoy Him wherever He may found.

I smile big at the people in the aisles at Target. I offer encouragment to the check-out lady at the Publix. I wave at strangers who pass me on the road. My husband strikes up a conversation with the man who sells us the Christmas tree. My children find money on the ground and pass it on to the red Salvation Army bucket. We make decorations and cookies for our enjoyment and family heart-bonds are becoming stronger. We listen to Christmas tunes and laugh and the children say over and over "this is the most wonderful time of the year!" We drive by lights and ooohh and aaahhhh. We are celebrating Jesus and life at each and every turn.

The Sacred is found in the everyday moments of celebrating. We don't have to choose one or the other or constantly obsess as to whether we are doing the right thing spiritually this season. Enjoy Jesus. The God-man who was found enjoying weddings, dinners with friends, cooking on the beach, taking long walks, looking people in the eye, gathering children, meeting needs, calming storms, resting, praying, healing, telling stories, initiating with strangers. The Incarnate One lived and breathed and did life just as we do...a life not filled with religion but with the Bubbling-Over Life of the Spirit.

Here's to enjoying and celebrating the Life of Jesus in all things every day.



photo by romorga

16 comments:

Liz said...

Amen, Aimee. I'm new to your blog and I agree wholeheartedly with this post. We are Christians first in whatever we do and should be doing all things as unto the Lord. Like you, my family is enjoying ALL parts of Christmastime as believers in Jesus who look both to the manger and to the cross daily.

Juanita said...

I wholeheartedly agree. Nicely said.

Juanita said...

P.S. Forgive the re-use of Liz's "wholeheartedly" - it just sums up the degree of agreement sentiment so nicely :-)

gina said...

well said! i agree. this is OUR story, after all. it's for us, and is definitely cause for celebration in a BIG way. i'm with you!

Linda said...

Absolutely refreshing and so true. I feel just the same way - but you have written it so beautifully.
Thank you Aimee.

The Mangerchine's said...

Oh Aimee, I needed to hear this, thank you so much! I guess the key is to finding Jesus in the celebrations, traditions and seemingly secular things and communing with His Spirit throughout our celebrations. I like your point that His life wasn't filled with religous stuff.

Shannon

Magda from Poland said...

Hello Aimee! I am here today just to tell You: Have a wonderful Christmas time! I am a polish mum, who truly enjoys Your writing. I have read the whole blog some time ago and now, when I need some inspiration or a soul lifting energy I come by and read what is on Your mind these days. It's a big pleasure to visit Your blog. Have a great December :) Magda with Lusia and Arthur.

tonia said...

i totally agree! REDEEM the time!

enjoying and soaking in Jesus with you,

tonia

Prairie Chick said...

yeeeeeeesssssssss!!!! oh girl. you're speaking my language. I adore Christmas. and every little song and ornament and cookie and WHATEVER becomes an emblem of love and reflection on how good and wonderful and beautiful He is.

Hill upon Hill said...

I find you very wise. Thanks.

Tonya said...

I could NOT agree more, Aimee!!! You have put many of my recent thoughts into words. I LOVE Christmas and everything surrounding it and I know Jesus is honored by the fun and the festivities we do to celebrate!

Pom Pom said...

I agree. It's all about the awe we feel in our hearts and the way we like to kick up our heels and revel in the Spirit's truth! Yahoo! He loves us! He loves us!

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

CELEBRATING with you!

As always... thank you, Aimee...

He's come!

All's grace,
Ann

Becky@ Daily On My Way To Heaven said...

The Saviour Has come!

Let the song be heard...let our "doing" be our daily worship to Him.

Hilty Sprouts! said...

Beautiful, Aimee. I feel exactly the same way but could never put it so well. You have such a way with words and a passionate spirit that I so admire.

Aimee said...

Magda, welcome from Poland! I lived for 2 years in Bratislava Slovakia and visited Krakow and Warsaw a couple of times. So neat to have you visit and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas as well!