I meant to post this earlier, but we’ve been kind of covered up since Christmas.
Lots of family to see.
Lots of places to go.
Lots of things in my house breaking that I needed to fix.
But, if I’m honest, Christmas was kind of a bust this year. At least in our house.
What I mean by that is that the nostalgic feeling that is only reserved for one day of the year associated with lights, gatherings, and gifts was kind of absent at our house.
Don’t get me wrong, we ate well. We shared gifts. We spent time together. We read the Bible and sang together. We did fun things just because we could.
And it kind of felt like every other day we get to experience as a family.
And maybe that was part of the reason for Christmas.
You think I’m crazy? I’ve got proof for it contained in the last verse of the Old Testament. Right before that blank page that stands between Malachi and Matthew representing so much more significance than our minds can imagine, Malachi ends his book and the entire writings of the Old Testament with these words:
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction” (Mal. 4:5-6).
Did you catch it? Malachi was prophesying concerning when Jesus would come. And when Jesus came, the great and awesome day of the LORD, something significant was going to happen. The family was going to be drawn back together. Fathers’ hearts would yet again desire to love their children. Children would yearn to be with their fathers.
Jesus would come and it would change lives. And one of the proofs of that change was that the family would be drawn towards one another yet again.
So, on Christmas, when we celebrate the incarnation of Jesus, doesn’t it seem right that we spend more time together as a family?
It’s a beautiful thing. And yet, what I see God doing in our hearts cannot be contained on one sole day of the year. Christ has more power than that.
On Christmas morning, we sang. We danced. We ate well. We took a nap. We got to enjoy gifts that we don’t deserve and truly don’t need. We thanked God for his blessings. We played BINGO. We played it a lot. Why? Because when Jesus comes into a home, the family should come together.
I remember playing Obadiah’s BINGO game so many times on Christmas day. He loves games and we thought he would enjoy this one. We were right.
Part of me felt concerned that I wasn’t doing enough for him. Here we were on Christmas night eating some leftovers and still playing BINGO at the kitchen table.
Was there enough hype on this day? Was it memorable?
And yet, when I looked at my son and realized that his greatest concern in that moment was how to get the BINGO balls back in the spinner, I knew we were experiencing Christmas just the way it was supposed to be experienced – together.
I pray that my family can live every day with the reality of Christmas and yet not wait on it to roll around each year to enjoy the promise associated with it.