A blog friend of mine, pinpointed something that has nudged me all month long, but I couldn't find the words to express what it was.
Her 5 month old baby has been in the hospital since she was born, and my friend wanted so badly to bring her home for Christmas (you can click on the "Pray for Annabelle" link in the right column and go to her blog). But after almost getting there, God ultimately said no. But through all the heart ache and hoping, my friend brought up a very wise point just before the end of Christmas day:
Christmas is just about Jesus. Nothing else. Not family. Just JESUS.
What has been nudging me all month long, is that I am afraid the Christian community has bought into the idea that Christmas is about stuff (as well as the baby in a manger). Every time I turn on the Christian radio station, they talk about families in need and helping them this season...shouldn't we be helping them all year!??? Why do we focus on giving this one time a year, when really that should be our main focus all year long?
And then I hear people remind us about how this time of year is so difficult for people...but I know people who have difficulties all year long...why do we feel obligated to reaching out just in this season...we should be caring, loving, compassionate every season.
It seems nice and well to counter-act the obscene amount of purchasing and materialism this time of year, but it is, in a way, still focusing on the stuff, self-contentment...not the baby in a manger.
I frustrate myself by waiting to give and focus on the hungry around the holidays...not feeling obligated at any other time. It's something our culture has neatly packaged into the Christmas Spirit, when really the definition of that Spirit is a Christian, and a Christian should act that way everyday.
I type this to encourage you to have a new focus as we go into the new year.
Be Jesus to the poor and broken hearted...all the time. Christmas is to focus on the gift of God, not the one gift a year we give to help someone!