It’s the last week of the Advent season. I sit in the early morning listening to the pelting rain, pulling my thoughts together on what may yet need to be done.
There’s still presents to wrap, some cookies to bake, and food shopping to be done. Oh, and the star yet needs to be placed atop of the tree.
I have organized our times together as a family hoping to make them more memorable, more fun, and at the same time, more meaningful.
Yet through all the festivities, my longing is deep – I want for all of us to experience more of Jesus.
Jesus, the babe in the manger, the greatest gift one can ever receive.
The world around us – the advertisements, the decorations, the mall – all desire to convince us the best and greatest gift is out there to be found, wrapped, and given. In our search for the perfect gift, we gloss over the perfect gift we have already received.
Yet He is the only gift which lasts forever. He will never wear out or be misplaced because He sticks closer than a brother. We need not fear He is not enough because He is everything, our all in all.
My longings are deeper this year, more than any other year. Maybe this is what happens as we grow older. And so this year, when Christmas has come and gone, my longing is for us to remember …
- The aromas which fill the house – The smell of the tree, the fresh baked cookies, the breakfast strata, and the roast at dinnertime. May they point and remind us to breathe in the aroma of Christ so that we become His aroma to those around us
(2 Corinthians 2:15) all year long.
- The glow of the lights – The strands of lights which we strung around our trees, our windows, our doors. May their soft glow remind us to not hide our light
(Matthew 5:15-16) but let it illumine the dark places in our corner of the world.
- The dinner spread – The potatoes, the warm breads, and the roast. May we remember to partake of the Bread of Life (John 6:35), God’s Word, each and every day. His Word – alive and living (Hebrews 4:12) – is able to sustain us in our most wearying of days.
As I sit pulling my thoughts together and pecking away at the keys, the lyrics come back to my remembrance:
“To celebrate all that You have given us
It always ends up more than enough
‘Cause we celebrate Your love
And we can hardly wait to gather with our family
To see You’ve blessed us graciously
And we’ll sing the manger story
About the way You came
To give us what our hearts were longing for.”(from Our Christmas Song/ Make Good Your Christmas by Christy Nockels)
Our heart’s longing. Often we are looking for something which does not exist, cannot satisfy, nor is lasting. Fleeting gifts that leave us longing for more.
“Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.” (Psalm 107:8-9. NKJV)
Jesus came to give us what our hearts were longing for – more of Himself.
The gift that keeps on giving.Â
All year long.
Year after year.Â