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Presence Over Presents


Hi friend,

This week is Christmas! It’s a busy time of year and we can lose focus of the meaning behind Christmas. If we are not careful, the focus on materialistic getting and giving can consume our minds when it’s all really about the gift of Christ — which is what Christmas really is about!

When I was a kid, obviously my main focus was on the gifts and giving. I didn’t really know much about the true meaning behind Christmas. I knew about Jesus in a manger and that was about it. Then, I became a Christian and figured out the true meaning behind it. Christmas is about the birth of a king named Jesus. It’s about the blessings and love that come from his presence, not the presents under the tree.

It took a few years of following Jesus fully to understand that like the purpose of Christmas, day in and day out, Jesus wants to give himself and his presence. He wants us to be like little kids who wake up on Christmas morning, full of hope for what the Father wants to give you. I know in this season, he wants to increase his presence within us. He’s putting a big bow on his head and wants you to know that he is the real gift under the Christmas tree. He is here, eager to give himself to us. We just have to give him permission and invite him in and accept him as the true gift of this season.

I think of how the world is now, the focus is on presents rather than giving our presence to others. We’re pressured to get that new popular gadget or whatever else big corporations throw in our faces to make us believe we need. We don’t need monetary and materialistic items to prove how much we love or care about someone, but the gift of our presence. We think that that will make up for our absence, but it won’t. Just like when Jesus is absent in our lives; when others are absent too, it usually doesn’t go unnoticed.

In all honesty, I don’t remember all that I got for Christmas when I was ten, but I do remember who I was gathered with and that’s the important part. I remember the magic in being surrounded by my family and my parents watching us open gifts with joy. Not because we were happy with what we got, but just seeing us be happy and being together. That’s how Jesus views us too. He wants to see his children happy and full of joy opening the gift of him and the peace that he brings us.

The peace that comes from Jesus is a gift that the world cannot give and the world cannot take away. Let’s view this as something new being birthed to life for us just how Jesus was. He was a miracle and born in unprecedented circumstances. Maybe that’s how this year has been for you too. It may have felt like you just couldn’t go on much longer, but here you are. You’ve made it to the end of 2020. I pray that this season fills you with the hope and joy of Jesus just like a little kid on Christmas morning. Merry Christmas, friend!


— Brittany


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