Beauty in Brokenness

"He has made everything Beautiful in it's time." Eccl. 3:11

Parties and Perspectives

on December 9, 2014

A week ago we had our Christmas Cru meeting.  It felt a little early but with the semester ending and finals this week, we wanted to make sure that we got to celebrate the Holiday with our students.  Our movement wide party was the next evening, but we all needed a little time to meditate on Christmas, the real Christmas.  Honestly, I am glad that we did it so early, because I really needed to get some perspective to fully enjoy the Holiday season.

**To learn more about Cru, see the About section.  Cru is a Christian student movement on college campuses nationwide.

Our Director (so blessed to have him finally!!!) started out his talk by asking “how do you feel about Christmas right now?”

Loaded question…

I appreciated (and was challenged by) his honest answer when he said the 3 things he is most looking forward to about Christmas in this moment is giving gifts, getting gifts, and food.

What?!?!  You can’t say that!!

Oh, but he did.

And you know what, aren’t we all.  Or something to that extent.

If I were to name the thing I am thinking about most over Christmas, it would be a break. Honestly some days all I can think about is one day to stay in my sweat pants until noon.

I haven’t barely even thought about Christmas yet, except to freak out and obsess over what in the world to buy as gifts.  And honestly, not in a “I love you so much I want to get you something you really love” sort of way, but a “I am the worst at presents and don’t want to embarrass myself” sort of way.

Next in line comes thinking about family parties and celebrations.  But honestly, I was ashamed to realize how little I had thought about Jesus this season so far.  We spend so much time planning “celebrations” that I just don’t celebrate.

Thanks Jesus for giving me an excuse to be a bum, and then go to lots of parties.

 

Don’t get me wrong… I firmly believe that God loves a good celebration.  He wants us to enjoy the gifts He gave us.  Family is a blessing to be cherished. Financial provision is a blessing to us so that we can shower our loved ones with special things.  God does not solely want us to lock ourselves in our rooms with our Bible asking for forgiveness for our scattered brains during His son’s birthday.

He wants us to celebrate!  The angels even had a party that day.

Embrace the season for what it is.  Redeem the worldly idea of Christmas, don’t just complain about it.  Recognize our own tendency (even in good intentions) to take the glory away from Christ this season.  Accept grace in that and then renew your mind.

Don’t avoid things like parties, gifts, and celebrations…. But make them what they were meant to be.  A way to enjoy the gifts and blessings of our Savior.

That’s what the ultimate gift was for anyway.  The son came because we were never going to be able to get it right.  We were always going to fail Him.  We would never be able to stop ourselves from sinning.

So He came as a baby, lived a full life without sin, giving perfect glory to His Father, and died in our place.  So that even in our imperfect celebration of Him we can experience grace and forgiveness.

How crazy!  He died so that when we screw up we wouldn’t have to.  He died so that when we mess up and get caught up in our own selfish thoughts, plans, and worries, that we wouldn’t have to beat ourselves up about it constantly.

All we have to do this season is to recognize and confess when things get in the way, and allow Him to turn our thoughts back to Him.  How can we not celebrate after experiencing that mercy!

And that my friends is what the season is all about.

 

In the midst of the busyness, I urge you to take some quiet time alone with our Savior this season.  Let Him renew your heart, and get to know Him in a new way.  Then we can feel more free to celebrate the Jesus we know personally.


Here are a few pics from our end of the year celebrations for you to enjoy.

Crowding around the food as usual :)

Crowding around the food as usual 🙂

The "decorate your own cookie" bar

The “decorate your own cookie” bar

We have some talented students!  Overachievers!

We have some talented students! Overachievers!

White elegant gift exchange

White elegant gift exchange

Gathered around the Christmas tree

Gathered around the Christmas tree

Cuddling and Christmas Karaoke :)

Cuddling and Christmas Karaoke 🙂

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