Ah...Christmas. I love everything about it. I love the beautiful glow of a tree covered in ornaments that all have a special meaning. I love the Nativity scenes I have displayed around the house. I especially love the music of the season...singing along at the top of my lungs. I love snuggling under a blanket, reading a Max Lucado book, listening to the City on a Hill cd that a friend "loaned" to me about 5 years ago.
Sounds pretty idyllic, doesn't it? I realize, too, that it sounds pretty self-centered. And that, friends, is the struggle.
Today, I (subtly) chased my husband out of the living room where he was watching football so I could decorate the top of the entertainment center with my Willow Tree Nativity and listen to Christmas music.
Today, I yelled at my kids for breaking the heads off two of the wisemen in their $10 nativity that I knew would get broken sooner or later. I was trying to tell them who was who in the story, and they were clinking their heads together. So I yelled.
Today, I told them to look with their eyes not with their hands at the Santa display that sits on the roll-top desk. (OK, I am serious about that one.)
Today, I yelled at them for mimicking a song while I was getting my praise on...with a capital "P". If they could just behave so I could worship God properly...Christmas is about showing Jesus that we love Him, and if they could just be quiet, I could love Jesus better.
I am fully aware of how fully aware of myself that I am. Therein lies the tension...how do I teach my kids to love Jesus and discover the true meaning of Christmas if I am busy yelling at them for getting in the way of my "experience"?
Help me, Lord, to express my love for You in a way that invites, rather than excludes, others to join in. You served God through the people, not in spite of them. Help me, Lord, to get over myself so I can make room for everyone else. Especially in this season that honors You. Amen.