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Getting in the Christmas spirit

    It’s Christmas, a time to remember what Jesus accomplished by coming to earth as a baby. We talk about “getting in the Christmas spirit.” What exactly does that mean? The spirit of gift-giving? The spirit of spending time with family?    Thinking about the holidays, …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
 
 
It’s Christmas, a time to remember what Jesus accomplished by coming to earth as a baby. We talk about “getting in the Christmas spirit.” What exactly does that mean? The spirit of gift-giving? The spirit of spending time with family?
  
Thinking about the holidays, I wrote the Adventures staff:
 
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. Estie has returned home off the N squad. It’s been a week of joyous reunions in the Barnes house. Emily has also returned and she’s sporting a ring on her finger. Her future husband joins us for Christmas in about a week! Karen has just completed her first semester to get her masters in counseling, so we’re also celebrating that.

Whether it’s helping a World Race squad go around the world or just meeting the needs of your own family this Christmas, ministry can feel a little like running on a hamster wheel, can’t it? We’re finishing up a very full year and looking forward to another one. When does it stop? Where is the time for a break?

Where indeed is the time? I found some extra time this fall when the football teams I follow (the Redskins, Falcons, & GA Bulldogs) all had bad years. Today instead of watching football, I reviewed my journals, read books, and looked back over the notes I’d taken while hiking the Camino last May.
 
For me, maybe getting in the Christmas spirit means re-connecting with parts of myself that have been abandoned along life’s road. Last Christmas my father-in-law was looking at some old family pictures with me.
 
There I was 25 years ago in one photo with a big happy-go-lucky grin on my face. And my father-in-law remarked, “You’ve lost your smile.”
 
That made me pensive. I don’t feel unhappy. But then, there are some days when the cares of the world do weigh heavy on my shoulders. Is that really me? Does the boss hat I wear begin to define me both within and without?
 
If so, then Christmas should be a time to put those cares in perspective.
 
My grandson Marston does that for me too. He loves to be surprised – he opens his mouth wide and squeaks and laughs. And I can’t help returning the favor. He forces the smile back onto my face.
 
Maybe your like me – you’ve lost pieces of yourself in this hard scrabble world in which we live this past year. You didn’t mean to, but maybe you’ve hurt people and maybe you’ve been hurt. Maybe we carry disappointment with us – maybe our spirit feels bruised and limping.
 
One of the best presents we can get this Christmas is to recover those parts of ourselves that others love most.
 
While others are cleaning the dishes I normally do, I for one will be playing more games of peek-a-boo with Marston.

 

Comments (14)

  • I’ve found a new smile just sitting and making faces at Max. I love that babies have the ability to give us adults some perspective.

  • “…Maybe your like me – you’ve lost pieces of yourself in this hard scrabble world in which we live this past year. You didn’t mean to, but maybe you’ve hurt people and maybe you’ve been hurt. Maybe we carry disappointment with us – maybe our spirit feels bruised and limping.

    One of the best presents we can get this Christmas is to recover those parts of ourselves that others love most.”

    Thanks “Dad”, just what I need to hear this morning.

  • Just what I needed to hear today as I contemplate a very quiet, different type of Christmas…and with my daughter on U Squad….

    Thanks for the honest, encouraging posts.

    Merry Christmas to you as well…

  • Looks like it’s time for a new normal to enter the room. Encouraged to hear you’re defining it, rather than settling.

  • Christmas reminds me of our Fathers Love for us. It means slow, down, reflect on this day. He came to our world to redeem His people and to save us from an eternity in Hell. He became nothing to save His people and now He lives within us, His Church. It is now our responsibility to take His Church to the rest of the world and share the Gospel with non believers. This is why we go…and this is Christmas. Thank you Father for your unending Love, FHB III

  • This Christmas is the first in the last few years where I’m feeling so much joy SOLELY over the love of Christ. Shopping actually takes away from that excitement I feel, and I usually love shopping! So I’m feeling that I have been given SO MUCH, I mean what could possibly compare with a relationship with the Creator of heaven and earth, once broken, now restored!!!! That truth just makes me look at each one of my family members, in Christ, see the love given to them by the Father and just celebrate LIFE, every moment! Dance and sing praises to our Savior!!! Emmanuel! Lets set aside ourselves and sit at the feet of Jesus on His birthday

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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