Christmas is a hard time to be a Christian.
Ironic, I know.
Just this weekend, my house was the epitome of Christmas throw up. Tubs crowded my living room floor. Decoration change-over littered my table. Clutter shuffled my brain.
I felt resentment rise. I hate the mess, the immense time decorating takes, and the constant reminder that in a month, tubs will again crowd my living room floor, decorations will litter my table and clutter will shuffle my brain.
But my kids love it. So I do it as an act of love...and an act of service.
But just like those tubs, a frenzied, overwhelmed craziness fights to take over Christmas. In my heart of hearts, I long to be intentional with this season...and every day...but public display of Christmas, and the fear of getting a "bah-humbug" rep, fight against that very longing!
And I pray I will have the courage to be different from the world around me.
Zechariah felt the frenzied, overwhelmed craziness, too, as the Israelites prepared to rebuild the temple. Chapter 7: 4-6 says, "Say to all your people and your priests, 'During these seventy years of exile, when you fasted and mourned in the summer and in early autumn, was it really for me that you were fasting? And even now in your holy festivals, aren't you eating and drinking just to please yourselves?'"
Friends, there's a lot of pretending going on at Christmastime. Christmas has lost its sincerity. Just as in Zechariah's day, repentance and worship have been covered up with pretense. God even says that an attitude of worship without a sincere desire to know and love Him will lead to ruin (Zech. 7:11-14).
But there's a movement of people...a remnant...gearing up to build a new temple! This remnant is trying to uncover that manger!
Right now, the efforts feel small and scattered...but guess what? God rejoices in the work that's started!
His word says, "Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel's hand." Zechariah 4:10
Restoring Christmas is a huge task--the same as rebuilding the temple--but let's not despise small beginnings. Hold fast to the plumb line and work together to construct something different! The Lord rejoices in these small beginnings.