This Christmas could we each do something different


If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got.

Another Christmas on the way.  One week from now.  All the traditions – family, work, celebrations, church, God, Jesus, baby Jesus, carols, cute, love to all men, etc.  It is a lovely time of year.  It happens each year.

For some that is not true.  For some this Christmas will be a mask.  Smiling on the outside and shredded on the inside.  I know of a few who are shredded.  Who smile.  But who are shredded.  For them the old traditions hurt.  For them the traditions are a reminder of loss.

But for all of us – laughing or crying – joyous or joyless – there is one thing we can all do for (maybe) the first time this Christmas: be reborn.

“Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way.” Matthew 1:18(a bit)

There were two posts today which my God Soft Hands Jesus clapped together like giant cymbals: CLASHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

  1. Little Monk: Greatness Defined …
  2. Don Merritt: A Child’s Bread … and the Dog

Little Monk talks about trust and how.  Don talks about faith and how.  Jesus talks about becoming childlike in the first, and says it’s all about faith in the second.  And the cymbals?

Well, He grabbed my ears and did that surround sound, full technicolour, light-show thing.

Becoming a child … it’s all about faith …

It’s less than one week to Christmas, we love a good baby story, that miracle of life, that wonder of innocence, we are all programmed to “get in the mood”.  Which is (partly) why those who have lost someone important hurt so much at this time of year.

But He asked me this today:

“If all you do each year is the same as last year – the same traditions, the same verses, the same carols, the same meditations, the same devotionals, the same church stuff – how do you honour Me?”

And I wonder … As “Christians” do we like to grow up – or do we prefer to stay in kindergarten?  Do we prefer the comfort of doing what we have always done because it is safe?    

“Instead of cooing over Me  – why not use this time to become a child again, an innocent again, a babe again, an infant and child again in My presence?”

We live so much in the sentimentality of Love.  My God Soft Hands Jesus lives in the reality of Love.  We love the fluffiness of Love.  GSHJ lives the jagged edges of Love. Just as a loved and loving child has a world in which curiosity is safe, questions are safe, “failing” is safe, giving is safe, receiving is safe, “being” is safe …

“It is all about faith – and that is where innocence and babies win hands down.  They are safe.  They love with the same ferocity I love.  They love with the same lack of conditions as We.  They know no better (or worse).  They just “are”. They are not “cute” – they are how you used to be before you became all grown up and everything.”

I wonder – this Christmas could we each do something different?  Could we see that baby of innocence as our role model?  Forget the “Wow – guess what Jesus did for me” stuff this year – simply see that baby as our role model.

“You were a child.  You are a child.  All those times you have wept.  All those times you have cried out.  All those times you wanted to smash something.  All those times you laugh uncontrollably.  All the times you “do because you are”.  All those times you forget to be sensible and serious and all grown up and everything.”

We all struggle with the simple stuff.  We have layered over the simplicity with fear, with doubt and with “grown-up-ness”.  We live with a doubting head so often, forgetting a loving heart is pining to join the party.  Scared to let that pining heart rule our living.  Fearful we will be hurt – again – and again (and what would people think of us then?) – so “becoming a child” becomes an impossible task.

“You are a child in a suit of adulthood.  You are my Child.  Allow yourself.  It’s so much easier than you think.”

How?  For me …

We all live behind a mask – and think it keeps us safe.  It’s what we must do, it is what we have been taught to do … by whom exactly?  Jesus?  God?  Love? Or ourselves – because we know best.

And just how does that “honour our God” exactly? How does “we know best” allow this God we worship to change anything?

So this Christmas, how about we let “that mask” be the one change we make.

How about we allow love to be the answer always.  Love is the answer.  And love always finds a way if we each allow love always.

How about, this Christmas we honour this “baby Jesus” by finding how to become His child again.  By living without the mask we have each made and each think we must wear.

How about this Christmas we honour our Loving Father by being real – and find out for ourselves that we are always safe because we are – all – always Loved?

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16 thoughts on “This Christmas could we each do something different

  1. (screaming) “And I wonder … As “Christians” do we like to grow up – or do we prefer to stay in kindergarten? Do we prefer the comfort of doing what we have always done because it is safe?”
    I have been deeply thinking of yesterday’s post – being convicted, angry, turning the tables mad at some and then apologizing to Jesus for my lousy attitude and begging Him for more of His love in me……………. and then you said the above quote….. I am really hard on some peeps right now (in my heart) and I really need more love. I am tired of the snares of “same-ole, same-old”. The ruts.
    Thank you dear Paul for your heart…….. I may borrow some of your words soon…….. ❤

    • Cate – I may be just one “tantrum” ahead of you in this 🙂 If so – it is a privilege to be so close to your own steps right now. Someone quite close to both of us switched my perspective: “What if you changed your expectations Paul – what difference would that make?” And I found myself listening again. What if …

      Even in these past three years I have “changed” massively. How would “Paul then” have reacted to “Paul now” if “Paul now” had blown a fuse (no matter how “lovingly” or “discretely”) at “Paul then”? I think I know the answer.

      Non of which make it any easier – other than it does. Little Monk was my voice of love. 🙂

      • Perspective. That is a word Ilove. I did, very recently, talk to my friend on their “behavior” in what I thought was loving yet emphatic for their future…..my hubby verified I was loving (though I felt I was crazy-raging on the inside-LOL). I just get passoinate about people not going for their dreams – my friend talks themself out of their dreams and have been doing that for at least a couple of decades. It just saddens me – but sometimes saddens me to sin. Ugh- my wicked heart.
        Always learning and glad of that. God is not through with me yet. 😀

  2. As I read this post and two you referred to, I keep thinking about the way children communicate. In their innocence and desire to be heard and sincere curiosity, they ask what is on their minds, they speak their hearts, they express their feelings without suppression. They have no inner critic or editor. They have not yet learned to don a mask in order to hide their “offensive” parts because they assume there is no offense. They are wholly trusting; the are, developmentally, the center of their own universe, while at the same time wholly dependent upon their caregivers.

    The difference, then, between us and children is we must understand God is the center of our universe – the God who loves us unconditionally. If we understand that, all the desire, all the curiosity, all the asking, all the speaking and expression (and doing) comes from love.

    • Susan, I was reading your words both agreeing and disagreeing – and wondered why. I think it is because the “essence” of childlike is what we are discussing – as LM points out so well, children can be vicious to each other. To take “the whole” isn’t what this is about (as I am guessing you mean as well). Just like the bible – once we live “literal” that is where the arguments begin.

      So the essence of childlike and the essence of awareness of unconditional love for each other as well as ourselves – now that is an essence I seek! That is the essence I think Jesus means. A simple growth, a simple evolution – keeping all the best bits.

      I hope I am not confusing you or me with your comment.

      • Paul, I take your disagreement, and I agree. In my head, I was meaning that “essence.” And I was thinking about the spirit of very young children – 2, 3, 4 years old before they learn that meanness, not taking the literal at all. And not confused. Thanks for the chance to clarify. 😉

  3. My dearest Brother Paul, you really nailed what that “real” love is in a way that only you could!! Remove the mask!! God doesn’t see a mask no matter how hard we might try to keep one in place, because God ALWAYS looks at our hearts. You CANNOT hide what is in and comes from your heart! What greater gift to give one another, true Agape Love, by removing our perceived masks. Then, we can also be pleasing to our Heavenly Father for the faith it takes to be our genuine selves with one another!! “For without faith it is impossible to please God!”
    What a great gift to one another than to demonstrate our innocence before God and be accepting of each other just like little children! Like Sister Susan stated, children are wholly trusting and since we truly are wholly dependent upon our Heavenly Father, why not the trust that He has our best intentions at heart individually AND corporately as HIS family!
    May you and yours be blessed with abundant Joy AND Peace this Season my dearest brother!! May you feel the love clear “across the pond” and know that with me, what you read is what you get!

    • Hiya Roland – thank you. The comments here are truly inspirational. And I have found myself nudged to the “jagged edges of love” (as we so often perceive the reality of unconditional love). And find myself having conversations …

      Instead of “I think you are wrong” becomes “Why do you think (that)?”
      Instead of “Well, the bible says” becomes “Three years ago the Word said (this) to me, but over time He has shown me (this) – does that happen with you and Him?”
      Instead of “So do you believe (this)?” becomes “”Three years ago I believed (this), but over time I have come to believe (this) – does that happen with you and Him?”

      You mentioned that word “curious” in a wonderful post. Years ago – and in some “corporate career climbing ladder” secular training (does God ever waste a second?) – that word was given to me. In a way that has “stuck” ever since. A state of mind – an “is” way of living (that drives some of those close to me “nuts”!)

      I believe (!) we can remove our masks and find safety in love rather than the unsafe (or absent) jagged edges we perceive (and have been taught).

      Roland it is one of my 2015 highlights that He has seen fit to draw me towards you. I feel your love – and I know you feel mine! And I find no “jagged edges” at all – only safety and faith and my God Soft Hands Jesus in another!

  4. Pingback: Mary and Elizabeth didn’t even need one | Just me being curious

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