Christmas: Ritual or Relationship?

Luke 2:17-18: “When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” (NIV)

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. I feel blessed because most holidays are celebrated for one day, but Christmas extends from the day after Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day for most families, including too much food and too many presents but usually also lots of time spent with family, lots of laughter, and the making of shared memories.

As much as I enjoy all of the above, some of it too much, that is not what Christmas itself really means to me. I would like to take today, a few days before Christmas, to really share with all of you a glimpse into my heart.

Christmas means to me what it does because of whom I choose to have a relationship with. I do not consider myself to be a religious person. I consider myself blessed to have a personal relationship with the God of the Universe. He is the only God in history who continues to be alive and who truly cares about the intimate details of my life. I have a peace knowing that whatever good things happen to me are because of blessings He gives to me. I also have faith knowing that nothing will happen in my life that He does not already know about and that whenever heartache or sadness does occur, He has the ability to help me grow and mature and then to possibly bless others through that pain. I can walk with confidence in life knowing that I have a relationship with the One who is in charge of the world – how’s that for being friends with someone who has a lot of power? 

A lot of people blame God for all the bad things that happen in life, but God is a God of love. Where there is the opposite of love, that is who should correctly get the blame for the evil in this world. God did not design the world to be full of evil, but He also gave free will which allowed sin to enter into the picture. 

The amazing and wonderful thing about the God I choose to have a personal relationship with is that He does not show favoritism. As intimately as He cares about me and my love of wildflowers, hikes in the woods, and spending time with my family, He also cares about you and your interests, passions, and desires. The incredible part is that He is waiting and willing and wanting to have that personal relationship with you also. As I have said before, though, He is a true gentleman and will not push Himself on anyone. He is waiting for that invitation from you to share in that personal relationship. 

So, as you get ready to celebrate Christmas, hopefully with lots of family traditions, laughter, fun, and probably too much food, I have one question for you…Are you celebrating a ritual or are you ready for a relationship? 

Merry Christmas from me to you…Thank you for letting me share a little bit of my heart with you today.

© Cheri Swalwell 2018

 

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