If You Don't "Feel" Christmas This Year

"So completely are we carried away by the excitement of this midwinter festival that we are apt to forget that its romantic appeal is the least significant thing about it. ...It does seem strange that so many persons become excited about Christmas and so few stop to inquire into its meaning; but I suppose this odd phenomenon is quite in harmony with our unfortunate human habit of magnifying trivialities and ignoring matters of greatest import.” - A.W. Tozer

There’s an expectation that surrounds Christmas of how we are supposed to feel. The lights, the music, the smells—it’s supposed to be magical. Our hearts should feel light and we should be filled with childlike wonder and excitement. For me, sometimes, I fight to get there. If I don’t feel whimsical and filled with joy when I hear “All I Want For Christmas Is You” or see a Christmas tree lit up, I feel like I am missing something.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling that childlike wonder. It’s a fun part of the holiday. But what if that’s not what Christmas is? What if it’s not so much about how we feel but about the magnitude of what happened that night so long ago.

Our pastor read portions of A.W. Tozer’s thoughts on Christmas this past Sunday, including the lines above. It made me pause.

Christmas’ romantic appeal—the lights, the music, the smells—is not Christmas itself. It’s a subtle difference, but it changes everything for me.

Not only do I not have the pressure of “what if I don’t feel Christmas this year,” but I can also clear it away a bit and really look hard at what God incarnate really means for humanity and for me.

Lloyd, our pastor, talked about the theology of Christmas. About how God incarnate is a more amazing miracle than water into wine, than the resurrection, than even creation.

The creator of the universe, the author of time, the reason we live—crammed in to one single tiny human body. Jesus is a miracle. A pure miracle.

I’d never thought about the mere fact of Jesus’ existence as a miracle. But he is. Because Jesus IS God himself. Not just an expression of God. Not just a part of God. That’s amazing to me. God was walking around on this earth.

Why? Solely because he so loves us. God—THE God--embodied human flesh, walked with us, taught us, then let us nail him to a cross. He was born to die. For us.

The miracle of Jesus in light of the whole of God’s story—our story—is even more beautiful. The entirety of creation for hundreds of hundreds of years longing for a savior. God hinting at Him along the way in Isaiah and even Genesis.

Then—finally—he has come! He is HERE. The one we’ve been waiting for. This is it. Come and behold him!

Acknowledging the miracle of God incarnate has subtly yet profoundly changed my understanding of Christmas this year and brought me a sense of peace and joy and wonder I don’t think I’ve felt before. May the hope and peace of Jesus fill your heart this Christmas!