Though he was in the world . . . the world did not recognize him. John 1:10
The saddest part of the Christmas story is how many didn’t recognize the gift God sent them. Numbed by their own interpretations, shaped by their own culture, calloused by their own wounds; they saw Jesus as an itinerant preacher who was duping the mindless masses.
It is just as sad today. Christmas with its trappings and traditions and excesses is a good cover to keep someone from recognizing Jesus.
We bear some of that guilt. We have plunged head over Christmas lights into the window dressing without letting God do business in our hearts first. We want Christmas. We really do. But it’s so easy to start at the wrong place.
God always starts in the heart. The heart is the place where who you are doesn’t hide, even when you try to cover it up. God knows that nothing else will go right until the heart is aligned by purpose and will to His heart.
When I let God investigate my heart, dig around in my closets, address my wounds, bear my griefs, restore me in a way that all the activities we call “Christmas” can’t; I have open eyes and an open heart to see Jesus in the world around me. I acknowledge his nudges. I hear His whisper. I follow His point. I obey with my heart.
We must make sure our heart knows how to recognize Jesus, where He is working in our families, in our attitudes, in our reconciliations; that’s where we must fan the Christmas fire to blaze even brighter. That’s when Christmas comes without a Hallmark movie.
When we welcome into our heart first, everything else we do at Christmas reflects that He is home where He belongs and is recognized. Then, everything else fits into the right place.