In two weeks, the advent begins.
It seems all things Christmas explode even before I sit down to have a Thanksgiving meal.
But though the world rushes in, I can’t help but notice, the earth cries for a pause.
The wind blows as if something is coming. Winter blankets the earth as if to hush it quiet … as if to say, listen.
Listen, the earth is holding its breath.
And there’s a certain stillness in nature, even as my mind races. A certain hopefulness that seems to hang, fragile yet resolute.
I hold my well-loved nativity set in my hands and unwrap small chipped and faded figurines handled not so carefully by little fingers over the years, and I think … am I ready?
How am I waiting?
Do I want less of the world’s Christmas and more of Christ?
In this world, we say have a merry Christmas. Let there be peace on earth. We send good tidings.
But it is not enough.
I think of the magi, wandering the dusty roads two thousand years ago. They must have been so relieved to see a bright star in all of the miles of darkness, pointing them to the way of their long-awaited Messiah.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.~ Matthew 2:10
What was that great joy like? Their hearts were clearly overtaken. They knew their waiting wouldn’t be long…
The holy child had come, just as it was promised. And their hearts exploded with praise. They knew God had sent more than a merry Christmas.
He had sent a Savior.
The world doesn’t just need another merry Christmas. The world needs an exceedingly joyful one.
Because merry fades. Anticipation quiets. Trees become dry brittle messy heaps. The nativity is packed away. And our lives somehow feel broken again.
And merry is not enough to heal the wounds life has scarred on us and the ones we scar on others. Merry is not enough to overcome the darkness of our sin against a holy God.
The world needs a Savior, hope that takes our filthy rags and washes us pure and beautiful, like snow freshly fallen.
I can only think the magi understood a little of this that night two thousand years ago.
And as I wait out the advent, their response to that bright star is the heart I want… to be overwhelmed with nothing but praise and expectation because Christ is here … and to know the joyous hope that triumphs over all.
Have an exceedingly joyful Christmas this year.
And I hope to do the same. 🙂
Here’s a favorite of mine for the season, the song that inspired this post: The Night Before Christmas by Steven Curtis Chapman. (Click on song.)
19 thoughts on “When a Merry Christmas is Not Enough”
Wow! So powerfully written. What a wonderful message.
You are so right, Kim. It is interesting, actually sad, how the world has taken over Christmas. The beautiful, simple, “exceedingly joyful” part of Christmas is the pervading peace of Christ. Lovely remind to remember our Savior this Christmas season 🙂
Yes it is disappointing how commercial it has all become. I agree, the joy comes from remembering our Savior first and foremost. That is where real peace lies for me. 🙂
What a beautiful reminder of the true reason! Thank you!
Thank you for your comment. I am praying the truth of the season becomes undeniably beautiful to us! So sorry for the late reply!
So beautiful !! It’s what I’ve been contemplating this fall- you shared it so well/ I’ll refer back when the crazy hits!! Thanks !
Thank you! It is a reminder for myself too as the crazy has already hit! 🙂
Kim, you’ve captured in words what’s been in my heart these past few weeks but I’ve been unable to express it verbally. This was just lovely. Yes, I want more of Him. Less of the world. Thanks for sharing your heart.
Thank you Abby. I always appreciate your thoughts too! You have such great perspectives on things. Do you know, I tried to read your latest post just now but can’t seem to link to the whole article?? I can only read the excerpt. Maybe it’s something with my WordPress? 😦
What a great Christmas prayer… thanks for this!
I guess it does seem very much like a prayer! That was my heart when I wrote it. Thanks for your comment, John!
Such a beautiful message Kim! Love your heart, so open before Him.
Thank you Sasha! That means so much to me. It is my desire to lay my heart open before Him!
Thank you so much, Kim for this beautiful reminder.
Thanks Megan for reading! 🙂 This was a post I wrote to focus my own heart… I pray it is an encouragement to truly rejoice in Christ this season!
What a well-written, thoughtful post, Kim. I appreciate greatly the distinction you’ve made between a merry Christmas and a joyous one. You’ve got me thinking: perhaps the frenzy of the secular holiday season is a vain attempt to capture the joy of Christmas without the responsibility of relationship with Jesus. And of course superficial “merry” doesn’t begin to compare to the deep-down joy and eternal hope he offers! Thank you for a meaningful post, and for becoming a follower of my blog. I pray you will find some of the posts there to be meaningful as well.
Thank you for such a meaningful comment! I agree, there is an intrinsic desire for deep joy, I believe, in all of us…but without the hope of Christ, all else comes up short… yet the world keeps trying to have Christmas without Christ. 😦 You are right. Merry doesn’t compare to the deep down joy and salvation He offers! Thanks for your input. Your blog is wonderful!
Indeed, what an empty celebration Christmas is without Christ. Thank you for your sweet encouragement, Kim. I am humbled and delighted you find the blog beneficial. Praise God for his inspiration and the words to convey his message!