Recently I discovered that the selfish little girl who spent hours perusing the toy section of the Sears catalog in order to make a Christmas list still hasn’t grown up. I know. All of you under thirty year olds have no idea what I’m talking about. But in that age just after dinosaurs and before google, the Sears catalog was where a child went to dream about what they’d find under the tree on Christmas morning.
I’m too mature and sophisticated to think much about presents anymore. But sadly, my selfish heart still looks for ways to make Christmas all about me. Instead of longing for that new Strawberry Shortcake bike, I want a Christmas experience that meets all of my expectations. I want the tree and the decorations to look just right. I want family celebrations to happen on my timetable. I want my three year old to play contentedly as I make cookies and hum holiday music.
Might as well call it “I-mas.”
In the Knowing God chapter Janelle referred to yesterday—“God Incarnate”—JI Packer realigns my holiday desires:
“The Christmas spirit is the spirit of those who, like their Master, live their whole lives on the principle of making themselves poor—spending and being spent to enrich their fellow humans, giving time, trouble, care and concern, to do good to others—and not just their own friends—in whatever way there seems to be a need….If we desire spiritual quickening for ourselves individually, one step we should take is to seek to cultivate this spirit. ‘You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich’ (2 Cor 8:9).”
Jesus Christ, who for my sake became poor—please grant me true Christmas spirit this year.