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Not Excited About Christmas

I’m not excited about Christmas. There. I said it.

The troubling thing is that I seem to be the only one. So far, I’ve watched three people tear up with joy and awe at the reading of the Christmas story, heard a student squeal at the mention of Christmas morning, and listened to countless songs sung by adults who, apparently, have never lost the feeling of giddy anticipation we all felt as children. Everyone seems to be experiencing with startling intensity the same “Christmas feeling” this year.

Me? Not one tear.Not one shiver. Not one warm fuzzy to speak of. What do I feel? It’s hard to describe. My family refers to it as “letting down.” You know, like a person might do after finishing a big project or finding out that their test results were negative or closing on a house? Shaky limbs.Fatigue. The fading heat of effort in my cheeks? Only I feel that in my heart.

What am I “letting down” from? Well, once again, like the Galatians, I’ve been trying to earn the salvation I already possess—free and clear, mind you—because of what Jesus Christ did for me on the cross. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I’ve been working hard to impress my Creator. Now, if that isn’t neurotic narcissism, I don’t know what is.

If Dr. Phil were here, he would ask, “So, how’s that workin’ for ya’?”

I would have to say, “Not very well!”

The harder I try to be perfect, the more unimpressive I find myself. Not only am I not perfect; I’m not even good.Like the apostle Paul, I keep on messing up.  So frustrating!

Okay, now lean in a second. I’m going to let you in on a weird little secret of mine.  In my heart of hearts, I wish that I could be good for one whole day on my own, make no mistakes without God’s help, and wrap that day up in a bow. Then I would feel like I really had something to offer God, a Christmas present of sorts from me to Him. I could scratch my name on the bottom, and He could put it high on a shelf, look at it every once in a while, and think, “That’s from Angela. How beautiful! My, but she must love me.”

But, it just doesn’t work that way.

According to Scripture, the best I can do on my own is as filthy rags. That’s why the Father sent His son Jesus to live a perfect life, die on the cross as a sacrifice for my sin, and conquer the grave. He knew I couldn’t get to Heaven on my own or facilitate my own spiritual adoption, so He made a way for me to be rescued, to be saved.As if that weren’t enough, He gave me the faith to believe, forgave me when I confessed my need for Him, and made me a permanent member of His family. He took care of everything!

So, what am I experiencing this holiday season? I think it’s relief, a perfectly appropriate Christmas feeling now that I think about it, tears, shivers, and warm fuzzies or not.  I pray the same for you. 

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