Saturday, December 17, 2011

Simple Christmas, Extravagant Jesus

There are dreams of a very simple Christmas dancing around my head this early morning. How early is it you ask? Well my clock reads 3:53 a.m.-thanks jet lag!

It's such a gift to be still right now-I love how peaceful our house is; time to enjoy quiet Christmas music and almond milk lattes. But after returning from busy, polluted, desperately poor Asia, there are more thoughts rattling around in my brain. I want to know:

What I'm supposed to do about my excessive culture and life? How does that translate to Christmas? How can we really serve the widowed, orphaned and least of these? What is my role or responsibility in the Great Commission and obeying Jesus? In what ways is the Lord asking me to live more sacrificially?

Maybe it's a little early for conclusive answers to those thoughts but my heart is searching in this busy season of Christmas and for MUCH more of Jesus! Somehow it's the desire of my heart to sift through the tremendous busyness that can accompany this season and extend that habit into everyday life. To simplify Christmas we are trying out these traditions:
  • Gift of time to each other: Ry and I are forgoing gifts in place of a Christmas date
  • Choosing two simple baked Christmas treats to enjoy and give away to neighbors
  • Simple Christmas decorations around the house: a tree, festive mantel and a few small decorations in the family room. Easy to put up and easy to put away!
  • Free activities! Golden offers a traditional Christmas parade December 17th in downtown. We get time outside and Harpo can join too. Other ideas include: driving to see Christmas lights, making festive drinks and going for long walks, watching classics like "Elf" or "Miracle on 34th Street", or checking out Luke 2 with a fire roaring!
  • The sweet time and focus offered from meditating on Advent
  • 1 scheduled day of Christmas shopping (on a weekday!) and wrapping to reduce stress and last minute rushing. Bugeting before hand also adds simplicity
And that is our Christmas plan! Our hope in these 8 days before Christmas is to make more room for the small voice of Yahweh (1 Kings 19:9-18). A joy this season would be to love sacrificially and simply, not excessively and with stress. We pray this habit would pour out into our daily lives and then overflow into the world

Here's the deal though, despite our own efforts to cut own, the simplest and most beautiful Christmas message we can find is the gospel itself. We're resting in this:
Our hearts are overwhelmed with thanks today for our sweet Savior, Jesus, who lived the life we have failed to live and died the death that should have been rightfully ours. Jesus rose again to allow us the gift of true life and this sacrificial, extravagant love is truly why He deserves our thanks, our devotion, and our entire lives. What a sweet and beautiful Savior!
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us. And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.

Luke 2:15-16

2 comments:

  1. Carly, what a great post!! Also I love love love the pictures from India! Looks like you guys had such a great time!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Angi! It was a great trip, can't wait to share more. We were super challenged and it opened up our eyes a lot. I'd love to hear what you're up to also-love following your blog :)

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