Below I'm honored to publish a GUEST POST from my wife, Tracy Bradford.
Christmas week has started!
School is out of session, Christmas is only days away, and
everyone is hustling and bustling with the busyness of the Christmas season…
Oh, Christmas Week!
You have so much potential!
hold the hopes of merriment, joy, happiness, hopefulness, and much
But there is a dark side to
Because as sure as we
may be that THIS Christmas will be the one, the one where the question is
finally popped, or when that one gift is finally given, or that one
relationship is renewed, we open ourselves up to the possibility that the
questions will not be asked and may never be, that the nice gift we’ve been
waiting for is still beyond the budget, and that relationship will never be the
same as it was.
And this dashing, or
perhaps, crumbling, or maybe just slight ebbing away of what we were planning
can create in us a holiday melancholy.
Most of us, are beyond the point where we can longer hear
Some of us are near the
spot where Christmas is turning into a burden rather than a joy, especially
when our well-laid plans are interrupted by sickness or some other unexpected
This is the week where we can feel duped by the Christmas
spirit, much like Cub fans who year after year let hope for a pennant spring up
again only to be dashed in the early autumn.
We may have started this season with a renewed hope.
“Maybe this Christmas my plans will actually
fall into place!
I might actually get my
family photos out this year.
Christmas my kids will appreciate their presents!
Maybe this year our family meal will be
This is the week where those
hopes are laid on the line and put to the test.
And, not to be the voice of doom, but there is a good chance
that our expectations will not be met.
And there is a very good reason for that which has nothing to do with
the festivities of Christmas.
much more to do with how God created us.
From our very beginning we were designed to return to Heaven and the
presence of God.
Much like a baby sea turtle who instinctively goes to the
water upon hatching from it’s egg, we have an internal longing for a perfect
world filled with joy and peace, where every need is met and we spend our time
celebrating true good.
inside of us is what makes Christmas resonate so deeply within us.
But it is not a longing for Christmas that we
are responding to.
It is a longing for
Heaven, our true home.
It is a longing
to be with God, who is the true giver of good gifts and who can really, truly,
restore what has gone wrong.
Christmas traditions and festivities are WONDERFUL!
I think we should all delight in them as much
It is good to celebrate
Christ’s coming in a happy way with loved ones.
It is fabulous to be extra generous to both strangers and neighbors.
It is fitting that we look to reconcile with
loved ones during such a happy season.
Let’s keep in mind, however, that we are still living on
Earth, and not yet in Heaven.
we will get to that perfect place, and there will be face to face with a God
who gives good, perfect gifts.
Eventually we will find that holy grail of Christmas magic, where, “He
will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither
shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have
passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
This Christmas, lets remember that there is nothing wrong
with the hustle and bustle of Christmas, so long as we keep in mind that
Christmas is not really the place where all our dreams come true.
We are designed to long for Heaven.
When you are tempted to feel depressed, blue,
sad, angry, frustrated, or disappointed, remember that Christmas here on Earth
can never fulfill that longing that we have because, “…our citizenship is in
heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…” (Philippians
I wish you the best Christmas season ever!
I hope you enjoy it to the fullest!
May it be a reminder, a sampling of sorts of what
will be the best “Christmas morning” ever, when we awake from the sleep of
death and stare with wide-eyed amazement that we are in the presence of the Babe
of Christmas, the King of Christmas, our Savior and Lord.