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Take a few slow, deep breathes…

(Seriously, take 30 seconds and do that.  It’s amazing how well it works in helping you to slow down!)

Now grab a hot cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate and then come right back (don’t let ANYTHING distract you in the process!) to read the following excerpt from a devotional book I have been reading throughout this Advent season:

What is Christmas?  Is it simply a yearly excuse to engage in extended spending frenzies?  Is it nothing more than an annual exercise in overindulgence?  Is the holiday season merely a chance to cut loose and party?  While Christians are quick to answer these questions with a resounding “no”, we too often miss the real “reason for the season”.

Christmas is more than just a day set aside to mark the birth of an ancient religious leader.  It does commemorate Christ’s birth, but it also has a much greater, more practical significance.  In Christmas we find a unique opportunity to celebrate a two-thousand-year-old birth with the birthday boy himself.  The message of Christmas is that Jesus is alive to celebrate with us.  As this carol [“The Happy Christmas Comes Once More” by Nicolai F.S. Grundtrig, 1817] reminds us, he is the guest of honor at this wondrous yearly feast.  He is the star attraction and central focus around which all the festivities should revolve.  Even now Jesus is patiently waiting to gain entry to our hearts, homes, churches, and cities, so that he may celebrate this joyous occasion with us.

In the flurry of activity that we call Christmas, our attention is easily distracted from the one we seek to honor.  Yet the heavenly Guest continues to call to us.  He patiently raps on the door of our heart, ready to come in and fellowship with us.  What will our response be?  Will we hear him?  Will we welcome him in?

Christ in the Carols (Thirty-One Devotionals for Christmas and Advent) by Christopher and Melodie Lane, 1999

Friend, there is still time to celebrate in this way.  Don’t feel like a failure if you are realizing how much you have been running around like a crazy woman these last few weeks.  Start right now…start today and really enjoy and bask in the real reason for the season.  Spend time with the birthday boy.

Look!  Here I stand at the door and knock.  If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends.”  (Revelation 3:20)