My Heart’s Not in It
by Cynthia Ruchti
Christmas is coming. The tattered and wounded among us may not sing “Joy to the World,” but a more somber song with lyrics that neither rhyme nor inspire: “My heart’s not in it this year.”
No holly-strewn Eeyores or supporters of the Bah Humbug movement, they are instead the broken, the shattered, those whose lives and souls feel like the sharp shards of crushed ornaments at the bottom of the Rubbermaid bin.
Christmas as a holiday comes cyclically. It may or may not strike at an opportune time, when our hearts are ripe for celebration. Christmas and other notable calendar dates are unaware of the state of our soul.
But the Christ of Christmas? Different story.
The key to maneuvering through and surviving a Christmas that arrives at a time when your heart isn’t in it is to realize that God’s heart was in it in the original Bethlehem, before the foundations of the world, and now. Even now.
Christmas isn’t just an event we celebrate. It’s clear evidence of God’s heart toward us. Christmas is the holiday that celebrates God’s understanding of our deepest needs and His Gift—His Son—to meet those needs. God loved us and sent His Son so we could apply hope to everything that breaks us, crushes us, shreds us. Spiritually. Emotionally. Relationally.
Christmas is the holiday for the broken, because it exists to mark the day Hope was born.
What an affront it must be to Christ if we let our concerns overshadow the wonder that He came to earth precisely because we experience pain, overload, loneliness, confusion, uncertainty, dissatisfaction, disappointment, loss, shame…
In our loneliness, we turn our attention to the incredible love that would make the Father offer His Son so we could live in relationship with Him.
In our stressed schedules, we celebrate that Jesus came to rehearse vital truths like the difference between the important and the trivial.
In our tatteredness, we reach for the One who came with “healing in His wings” (Malachi 4:2 KJV).
In the middle of our need, we recall the provision that is ours because Jesus came.
In the midst of our people problems associated with the holidays, we realize that Christ’s coming offered us more than eternal life. It offered real tools for real problems in real life.
Whether you are interested or not, whether it sways you or not, whether you can grasp all of the ramifications or not, whether your heart is “in it” or not: this Christmas season, please know that God’s heart was and is in us. His understanding is limitless. Embracing that truth can be a crossroads moment for you.
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