For this second week of Advent, I’ve invited Reaganne Goode to share her thoughts with us about Christmas. Reaganne has posted here before. You might remember that she is the high school senior whom I met this summer when she volunteered for Group Workcamps. Reaganne is hoping to attend The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill next fall and is a semifinalist in the race for this year’s Coca Cola Scholarship.
“In the midst of gift buying, tree decorating, and cookie baking, it is easy to forget about why we truly celebrate the Christmas season the way that we do. Possibly the oldest, cheesiest, truest statement in the book, “Jesus is the reason for the season”, is a common generalization of this holiday month. At my age, Christmas is a complicating thing to grasp. Growing up, we are taught that its purpose is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, yet “Santa” is who we glorify. While there is nothing wrong with jolly St. Nick, it is important to know why we are trying so hard to find the perfect tree or the perfect gift. Whether or not He was born on the exact day of Christmas, we celebrate the most significant birth, the birth of Jesus Christ, on December 25th every year. We honor His birth for the same reason we celebrate the birth of a friend or a loved one; to remember and cherish the importance of the event. Christmas symbolizes the arrival of our Savior, the one who was born to die as atonement for our sins. I’d say that that is worth the hassle of untangling the Christmas lights or dealing with your crazy uncle at the annual Christmas dinner.
A major part of Christmas is preparation. My parents have the tough end of the deal. They have to prepare mentally, physically, and finically for what the holiday season may bring, while my siblings and I are preparing our rooms for all of our new stuff. Above all else, however, the preparation of our hearts for Christmas, or any time of the year, is what remains vital in our walk with Christ. In order to fully receive, understand, and embrace what He has planned for us, we have to allow Him to break all of our barriers. We can’t submit to His will or fully live out His plan for our lives without opening up and expressing the content of our hearts to Him. Giving, another key aspect of the December month, is a wonderful thing, but receiving is just as important. Preparing our hearts to receive the love showered over us by our family and friends this season is substantial; however, it is even more imperative that we are ready to receive the greatest gift of all, God’s loving gift of eternal life.”
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17–19 NIV
YouTube video by Audrey Cordery
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