If it is anywhere close to a holiday, of any kind, I love to hit the decorative aisles of Hobby Lobby, AKA: Hob Lob. I could spend hours dreaming of all the things that I could do with the beautiful merchandise on their overflowing shelves. If it’s close to Christmas, and my bank account will allow it, I think you may find me in there at least once a week. I love the colors and the smells, and the decorations that just seem to say, “If you had me, this Christmas season would be more magical than ever!”
Every year since I was a little girl I wanted something MAGICAL to happen during the Christmas season. I wanted to believe that Santa was real, or that the Sugar Plum fairy was really going to dance her way out of my dreams and into my bedroom. I wanted to hear reindeer. I wanted there to be some tradition or some decorating ceremony that would make Christmas WONDERFUL. The disheartening reality was though, that it never happened. Year after year Christmas day would pass and a New Year would come, and I still felt like a wise man following a lonely star through a desert. Dissatisfied, wandering. The truth is that there is nothing that I could buy off of those shelves that would complete this Christmas season. There is no scented garland, ornate candle, sparkly ornament, glittery star, or lighted tree that is going to fulfill the desire in my heart for this season to be SPECTACULAR.
However, every year hope was somehow rekindled and I would begin to think that maybe THIS year Christmas would be all that I had dreamed. That the decorations would be that much better, or there would be some new present that would complete me. Nothing ever did. Another year would pass. My heart still dissatisfied. It didn’t take me too many Christmases to conclude that there had to be something more than presents and homemade cinnamon rolls. Yet somehow I still continued to get sucked into the world’s clever scheme. The scheme to make Christmas all about the events and things surrounding a calendar day. The shopping, the eating, the traditions, Santa. Forgetting to look to the night sky, forgetting to remember the angels singing Joy to the World, shepherds in a field, wisemen making an arduous journey. All for a baby lying in a manger.
Christ’s birth was an event that people had been waiting for in expectation for thousands of years. I think that the reason that we all dream of Christmas being so dazzling, is that somehow every year that hope and expectation of a Savior is rekindled. But instead of attributing or expectation and hope to the coming of a Savior, we misalign or hopes and desires with what the world is trying to sell us. Once again we have turned something sacred into something commercial. Instead of following a star to a Savior, we follow the “shiny objects” of this world to a store, an internet site, or a “wish list.” The question isn’t, “Why does Christmas disappoint every year?” The real question is, “What are you following to find hope?” Gifts? Parties? Sweet Treats? Time off from work? Or will you allow the Spirit to lead you to kneel beside a manger, to be silent and still and look into the innocent face of love…hope…redemption?
The only thing that can satisfy us this season is not a thing at all. It is a baby. Immanuel. God with us. For unto us a Savior is born. May He find room on our wish lists. For He is all we need to be satisfied. For without Him there would be nothing to celebrate. No Christmas at all. So as you decorate your tree, buy another gift, or make a batch of holiday cookies, remember why you do those things. In preparation of the King. May you find your satisfaction and fullness in Him alone this year.
May your Christmas be filled with TRUE hope this year.