Overwhelming abundance

December 25, 2014

I’m overwhelmed with the abundance around me. Spending Christmas with 2 families (our first Christmas as a married couple) means we had twice as many presents, twice as much food, twice as much wrapping paper, and if it’s at all possible- twice as much joy.

This brings me to the end of the Christmas day, snuggled by the fire with my family and I reflect on everything this holiday has brought us. I can’t even begin with how much we have at Christmas in comparison with many others around the world. I’ve certainly thought of that as present after present is handed to me. And as I’ve watched the traffic become busier around the mall, Meijer become even more impossible to get in and out of quickly, and my days in this month filling up with plans, I was brought back to how much we make of this holiday (whether we have Christ at the center or not). Yes, it’s all a lot and often overwhelming in its abundance. But the fact that this is all quite overwhelming for many of us, maybe that’s a good reminder that Christmas is overwhelming. 

The first Christmas was overwhelming. It didn’t go according to Mary and Joseph’s plan (I’m pretty sure no pregnant woman wants to do major traveling at 9 months pregnant, not knowing where she may end up in labor). I don’t think the shepherds expected their typical boring night with their sheep to end with an angel chorus above their heads. And I don’t think the people in that tiny town of Bethlehem could ever imagine the wonder of what was happening in their town that night.

It was overwhelming.

The plans, parties, presents, the food, the wrapping paper, cooking, cleaning and other abundance of details in this season… well they might not be ideal. And perhaps they are not always the most godly way we can spend our holiday, but the reminder that this holiday is often overwhelming helps my heart remember that God’s gift to us was not a simple or easy gift to be given. It required a huge sacrifice.

I’m not suggesting anyone try and make this holiday more overwhelming than our culture already makes it. But when I’m overwhelmed by the details of this holiday, I want to remember that what’s even more overwhelming is God of the universe sending His own precious and most treasured son to live among us imperfect people in a broken messed up world, all because He wanted to show us His unconditional love.

That is overwhelming.

The massive amount of paper littering the living room floor, the abundance of chocolates given (so much that you can’t eat it all), the variety of gifts we end this holiday with (some treasured and others returned to the store) and the messy plans this holiday can call for is absolutely nothing in comparison to the overwhelming gift of God in the form of a baby, coming to live among us… all because of love.

May you be overwhelmed not by the holiday this year but by the precious reminder of God’s gift to us through Jesus our Savior.



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