In the hustle and bustle of Christmas, in the throes of shopping, holiday parties and boisterous music; my favorite thing to do is remove myself from it all. I find the need to unplug the noise around me and to sit down in the stillness and meet the Savior of the world in the quiet humility of the night.
In the silence of the night I listen for the faint lullabies of the heart. I seek the sounds of tenderness; a mother, singing her newborn to sleep. I listen for the song of a Father who has tenderly immersed his daughter in love through the coos of an infant. I search for that tiny baby, swaddled in the arms of his mother. The one who came and allowed me to be swaddled in the love of his Father.
Sometimes it feels as if God gets lost in the fanfare of Christmas. For a child who entered the world in the quietest way, we make the spectacle of the ordeal. We celebrate him, as we should; but are we really finding him amidst all the noise? Are we truly grasping the example of the King of Glory who stepped down from his throne to become a servant and show us how to truly live? Or in our celebration of his life, are we missing the point?
It happens most often during the advent season that my longing for solitude is the greatest. I long for the simplicity and quietness of a mother waiting for the arrival of her first born. I long to sit in the quiet, waiting patiently for the Lord to reveal the glory that he brings. I long to hear the tender words of love from a Father to his daughter. Words of love, life, joy and sacrifice. The exact life he has called us to live.
Love – The love he sent was one of self-sacrifice. It was a love that challenged us to be more and to give more. It is a love that challenges us to open ourselves completely and love him with our whole being; and in the outpouring of that love we find it trickling over to our neighbors. Loving them just as we love ourselves (Mt. 22:37).
Life – The life he presented was that of a servant. One who consistently met the needs of those around him. He made himself lowly, and in that he showed us how to do the same (Mk. 10:43-45). Christ showed us that the joy of life with the Father was found as we lay our ego aside and serve those around us.
Joy – The joy we find at Christmas is present in all circumstances. It is the very presence of the Father in our life as we seek to become more like Christ. It is the contentment available to us in all situations (Phil 4:11-13). Our joy is the light of hope in the darkest corners of our lives.
Sacrifice – The sacrifice of Christ is not only seen through the cross, but also first in Christ’s willingness to leave heaven and dwell on earth as a mortal human. The comfort of Heaven for the pain of Earth. He left the perfection of God to dwell among the evil of man. His perfection and sacrifice showed us the necessity of our own sacrifice for the sake of the Father. Christ showed us that the love of our Father will take us to places that hurt and make us feel out casted, and even at times hated; but our small sacrifices for Him are what bring us the greatest joy.
When I step outside the noise of Christmas I find him. I find myself engulfed by his love. Lowering myself to become his servant; sacrificing my comfort to realize the fullness of his joy. It was through humility that he entered the world and it is through my own humbled heart that he entered my life, only to wreck and redeem it over and over again.