The Elusive Christmas Spirit

Well, it has been so long since I last wrote on my blog.  I like to be true to myself and so I am not one to write about just anything in order to ensure I still have an audience.  In these last few weeks I have not felt a burden on my heart to write at all.  It has been much more a time to be still and to rest in God’s grace and promises. 

That was of course until the psychotic annual Christmas rush engulfed our land and the world beyond, and the very spirit we are meant to be celebrating and highlighting with our words, actions and more so our peace, conviction and stillness, gets totally drowned out and replaced by this frenzy to fulfill all the tasks our foolish minds have set upon ourselves, which were we not to accomplish before Christmas Day, would mean we have failed ourselves and specially those around us.  We have turned the main substance of our life into MAKE BELIEVE, but we are believing in all the wrong things. God HELP US!

Last night my husband and I decided spontaneously to take the kids down to the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park in London.  I have to say that London has to be one of the most spectacular places in the world at Christmas time.  The atmosphere is just electric and magical at the same time.  The streets are beautifully lit and the decorations are something out of the perfect Christmas Classic film many of us like to watch around this time of the year.  And yet, behind all the glitter, the spark and the beauty of this exterior, lies the very contradiction of what we all find when we begin to scratch the surface.  This is what happens when the Spirit of Christ comes upon you.  One no longer can continue living a lie; one no longer can continue seeing what others see, and ignoring what others ignore.  What seemed beautiful and enjoyable before, takes on a different, deeper meaning which as well as the blinding beauty, reveals some ugly truths too which one has to confront and deal with. 

As we headed towards the Winter Wonderland and the kids were absolutely high on adrenaline glancing at all the rides and beautiful Christmassy scene in the horizon, all I could think about were the three homeless men we went pass minutes previous on the underpass, whose only way to overcome the freezing temperatures and their hopeless plight was to numb themselves with vast quantities of alcohol.  As we all marvelled at the glamour and the lavishness displayed in some of the most iconic buildings and hotels in London, my mind kept taking me back to the convicting and suffocating thought of how easily we make a decision to blow thousands of pounds on “things”, “clutter” and how much we resist giving insignificant amounts to narrow the gap between wealth and poverty in this world.  Even now as I write these lines, I am being accused by my own husband of being the miserable Scrooge who is not prepared to play along the game of pretending we all lived happily ever after, after Christmas Day that is.  The pull of the world is such that sometimes we put incredible demands upon our loved ones just so that we do not have to face the music ourselves.

Whilst others rejoice in the snow that has been submerging the UK into chaos and brought it to a complete halt, I see a very different picture painted by the seemingly harmless white stuff.  I see the hand of God bringing people to a place of imposed inactivity, a place of submission where the strength of men has come to an end and all left to be done is to sit it out and begin to reflect about what is truly important, begin to look around and be grateful for the fact that in the midst of chaos, one still has a roof over our heads, food on the table, and the support and love of family and friends. 

It is so extremely hard to detach oneself from the pull of the world.  A world with such magnetism that even Christians lose the ability to navigate in stormy waters, to discern the path to safety in the midst of such confusing fog.  At the very time when our focus should be in Christ and what He has done for us, our attention is placed on yet another last-minute shopping spree, another occasion to over-indulge and feed our most sinful desires, another Christmas party, another outfit, another night of drunkenness and conveniently forgotten morals and principles; another opportunity to focus on self and family instead of lending kindness and charity to complete strangers.

I don’t know about you, but I have spent the best part of the last three weeks wishing for it all to be over.  It is kind of being thrown into a washing machine when in full spin and not being able to get out, no matter how hard one tries.  One has to continue spinning around uncontrollably just because everybody else seems to be doing so.  Well, not me! I crave for my life to get back to normal. I crave for putting what is most important in my life back at its center.  I crave doing things because I feel the burden to do them deep inside, and not to please or impress family and friends.  I crave being still in the quiet of my own home talking to God, or simply listening to the still small voice of His glorious presence within and upon me.  I crave the deep love I feel for my husband and children which becomes depleted and poisoned when all my attention is forced upon things like food, presents, meals, cleaning and sheer indulgence and luxury.  I crave the brokenness of our Saviour who gave EVERYTHING even his last breath to redeem a world lost in sin, blindness and Fatherlessness. I crave those glorious moments in the daily mayhem when for one brief instant I am reminded that God is God and little of what we busy ourselves with for most of our lives is of any real consequence in eternity.  I crave all those other moments throughout the year outside of the amnesiac Christmas Season when we Christians still seem to carry our head on our shoulders, our heart on our sleeve, and our life still has a Godly purpose, a glorious hope and a meaningful future.

I crave, I crave, oh Lord how you know what I crave.  God knows our cravings, our longings, our deepest needs and the air that we need to breathe.  And when we ask of Him, we ALWAYS receive, but only that which we need. This morning I came across the video below which I found in a kindred spirit’s blog.  Hearing the song on the video instantly transported me to a place where all my longings and cravings became a reality, if only for a few short-lived minutes.  I was reminded about the true beauty of CHRIST-MAS.  And even as I have just written that word, God has just whispered to me that in my native language, Spanish, CHRIST-MAS would read “more of Christ”.   I will gladly take on the name of Scrooge for the rest of my life, if this means I can continue to air my deep concern about how elusive the Spirit of Christ has become in what we ironically disguise behind the name and masquerade of CHRISTMAS.

It is only four in the afternoon and I have already watched this video 4 times.  Every single time I get goosebumps and tears pour out of my eyes as I am reminded of WHO IS the true GIFT of my Christmas, of what it is that makes this season worth remembering and celebrating in a manner which honours THE ONE who should meet all our longings, all our hopes and the ONLY ONE who should become the absolute, uncompromising center of our adoration and worship.

May you be blessed by this song. May the layers of your heart be peeled as you hear these words.   May the blinders come of our eyes as once more we are given the opportunity to repent of making of GOD all the things that HE NEVER WAS, IS OR WILL BE.


6 thoughts on “The Elusive Christmas Spirit

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  1. Well said and an encouragement and challenge to me on so many different levels! I pray God will give us all a “Silent Night” of resting quitely in Him! Merry Christ-mas!

  2. Thanks. What a blessing and yes, chills ran up and down my spine. It’s interesting that you sent this to me today when I, too, had something on my heart. Thanks, again.

    1. Thank you Bonnie. It is great to hear from you as ever.
      I hope you had a peace-ful Christmas Day.
      Your encouragement means the world to me.
      God bless you

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