I love Christmas. For me, one of the best parts of Christmas is the time I get to spend with family. When my kids were younger, Christmas was always a special time for us. We traveled a lot during the year for business and ministry, but we knew that by December 15th we would be home until sometime in January. What that meant was playing games, watching Christmas movies, getting together with extended family, and of course decorating the house and making cookies. As my kids have all grown up and many have started their own families, it’s still a Howell tradition to spend the whole day Christmas Eve together. We always start with breakfast—everyone must come in PJ’s, just like when they were kids. Home is supposed to be comfortable, right?? Then, there are presents, playing games, a lot of laughing, and just hanging out being together. Sometimes, I take a little nap too, along with some of the others, but that’s ok too because with family you can relax and just to be yourself.
Christmas has always been about family and being at “home” with God. The first Christmas was about just that—God’s plan to restore us to His family where we could live at “home” with Him. There was a gift that first Christmas; it was God’s greatest gift to us—His only son. It was not a gift wrapped in the finest paper with an elaborate bow. It was a babe born in a manager. It was the fulfillment of that which was promised and part of God’s plan from the beginning of time.
There were two groups of people that first Christmas, those who were doing business as usual and those who came to worship Jesus. Still today there are those who get so caught up in the busyness of the season and forget to take time to reflect on the real purpose of Christmas.
I encourage you this holiday season to take time to focus on the reason for Christmas. Find that place of being at “home” for the holidays. Jesus said, My Father will love you and we will come and make our home with you (John 14:23, paraphrased).
Remember, the reason for this season was all part of God’s plan from the beginning because of His great love and desire to make a “home” with you. A home is a place we dwell, but it’s so much more. Home is about heart connection with the One we adore and a place where you feel loved, secure, and accepted. When God is our dwelling place and we are at home with Him, we can trust and find rest, peace and joy in Him. He doesn’t want us just be home for the holidays, but to find that place of being comfortable and at home with Him all year long. His love for you is more than you can even imagine.