Merry Crispness and Happy New Cheer
By Ed Delph
December 19, 2022
I hope you are feeling well and not exhausted or frustrated from the past year or current events. However, if you are tired or frustrated, this short article may bring a little crispness and happy new cheer this holiday season. Let me give a few examples of people looking at real-life situations who may be worn down and need to refocus.
Here’s someone projecting what they would feel about Mary after the birth of Jesus. “Mary, exhausted, having just gotten Jesus to sleep, is approached by a young man who thinks to himself, “What this girl needs is a drum solo.” Here’s a frustrated person. “Speaking of drum solos, did you hear about the longest drum solo? Well, here it is. The longest drum solo was 10 hours and 26 minutes and was performed by the child sitting behind me on Delta 963 from Los Angeles to Tokyo.” Enough said.
This example came from a post on Facebook. "I need to re-home a dog. It's a small terrier and tends to bark a lot. If you're interested, let me know, and I'll jump over my neighbor's fence and get it for you.” Been there, done that, and got the T-shirt. This person is frustrated with themselves. “It’s perfectly OK to talk to yourself. But it’s totally sad that you must repeat what you said because you weren’t listening.”
Here's a frustrated Hallmark viewer. "Men will say they don't watch Hallmark Christmas movies because they're unrealistic, but then watch a Godzilla movie about a giant lizard that breathes fire." Humm, I’ve got to think about that one. And here’s what to say to the English major who thinks they know everything. “Don’t use a big word when a singularly un-loquacious and diminutive linguistic expression will satisfactorily accomplish the contemporary necessity.” Impressive, most impressive!
There now, wasn't that refreshing? Those who are currently tired, frustrated, weary, or angry often miss the crispness of Christmas. They are like, "Whatever." They have no energy, margin, desire, or mental energy for Christmas. This year don't let "Whatever" rob you or your family of Christmas. Christmas is not about stuff or being stuffed. It's about "Whoever." Christmas is about God showing humanity who God is and what God does. Earth wasn’t going to heaven, so heaven in the form of Jesus came to earth to reveal what God looks like and does.
Corrie Ten Boom captures the essence of Christmas for us. “Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.”
Most people today are searching for the meaning of Christmas. They know something special is happening, but they can't find it. It's like the Christmas song that starts with an honest question, “Where are you, Christmas? Why can’t I find you?” So, let me share with you what Christmas is about through the Christmas songs you have heard.
God made a way in the manger for us to get back to God, and that's a joy to the world. On that first Noel, Christ came upon a midnight clear to the little town of Bethlehem. He came with radiant beams from God's holy face, with the dawn of redeeming grace. So, God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay; remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day. So come all ye faithful, joyful, and triumphant, and come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.
When you understand who Christ is and why Christ was born, you deck the halls with boughs of holly, go riding in a one-horse open sleigh, dream of a white Christmas, have some figgy pudding, and come on ring those bells. You shift from what child is this to what child this is. Christ is the Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing. He made a way in the manger for the way to the cross. He was born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them a second birth. That's not a wish-dream. That's reality.
I hope you are awakening, "There you are, Christmas! I couldn't find you because I didn't know the reason for the season.” God uses Christmas to help us wake up, shake up, and put on our makeup. The powerful memories of family, traditions, the holiday seasons, songs, and presents under the tree are only vehicles to bring to our remembrance the most extraordinary Christmas Gift of all, God’s son.
God uses Christmas like the star that led the three wise men to Christ. Why? God knows we need a star to guide us. We need bright light to lead us through the dark nights that we all have. The Magi understood this. Even though they were rich, educated rulers and possessed every available comfort, they were wise enough to know they needed a guide.
To follow that star required wisdom, humility, and an honest appraisal of their lives. Do you know what? Wise people still seek him. Discerning seekers want to know the real meaning of Christmas. And God treats us the same way as magi following yonder star. God is gently leading, still proceeding, guiding us to His perfect light on that O Holy Night.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. So have yourself a Merry little Christmas now.
Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
Visit Ed Delph's website at www.nationstrategy.com