To all the dear ones who have stumbled upon our little corner of the internet here at lifefullandfrugal.com: the last month and a half we have been making preparations for this week, the week of celebration for the Christ child, Jesus. I hope we have inspired you in creating an atmosphere of joy and celebration with all the decorations, music, baking and lights, the sights, smells and sounds of Christmas! There is so much joy in this season, if we are willing to fight for it, and all this beauty is just a little taste, a foreshadowing of the unimaginable joy to come in heaven. In this season, the offer is a glimpse into the Eternal. This is the time to breathe deep the promises fulfilled in the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of God Incarnate, my Savior and friend, Jesus Christ.
But we also want to acknowledge that this time of year is greatly opposed and can potentially be excruciatingly painful.
Did you know that Christmas is a battlefield?
This is how John Eldredge describes the incarnation of Christ: “Christmas is an invasion. The Kingdom of God striking at the heart of the kingdom of darkness.” I highly recommend that you read more on this subject in this piece he wrote on how the first Christmas relates to the times in which we now find ourselves. The relentless battle against this season of joy will make so much more sense to you, and Lord knows, we could all use a little more clarity. This is so helpful because John Eldredge zooms out the lens we have traditionally focused on the sweet picture of Mary and Joseph, baby Jesus and the stable, to show the epic battle going on in the unseen dimensions of the heavenly realms. The Enemy particularly despises the Christmas season and it is no wonder why it is a battle for us to keep the joy and beauty of it all as the focus.
So, how’s the fight going for you?
To be perfectly honest, I’m feeling a little battle weary right now. The year of our Lord 2015 has been really tough emotionally and spiritually. In a word, it sucked. I’ve been fighting off around 10 months worth of warfare and let me tell you, it’s wearing my heart pretty thin. So many failures, so many disappointments, betrayal, hurt, pain, resentment. I want so desperately to cling to the magic and majesty of Christmas, but my spirit is worn out!
More on that to come, but for right now, I thought maybe I would share something with y’all that has helped me in the midst of my battle for joy in this Christmas season. It is a wonderful tool to help you understand the richness and depth and inconceivable, breath taking beauty of the Incarnation. “Incarnation and Celebration” is the title of a sermon given by Dallas Willard for Christmas in 2007. I don’t know where it was given, all I know is that it was shared on his Facebook page (which you can check out here) and it has been such a blessing for me and my sisters! It’s an hour long, so listen to it while you are folding laundry or doing the dishes…or in your car on your daily commute. It’s worth every minute, I promise. Dallas Willard and John Eldredge are just two of the many amazing sages Abba Father has given to us in our journey to grow and mature in the Kingdom of the Heavens and our walk with Jesus Christ. We’ve come to know them and love them, even though we have never met them, and they feel like family! I hope that these links will be helpful in your battle for joy in this Christmas season and that you will be strengthened through the help of the Holy Spirit to fight! Fight for JOY!
Emmanuel, God WITH US has COME! He entered this world like a Warrior and He has FOUGHT and BATTLED for YOUR HEART and the VICTORY IS WON!!!! Hallelujah, the Victory is won!
I praise you Jesus, because you are GOOD and you are WORTHY! I LOVE YOU!!!!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!! ~Shanna
This Nativity was a gift that was made in Bethlehem by Palestinian hands. It is a sweet picture of the birth of Jesus, but also a sobering reminder that not much has changed in this little corner of the earth. It remains an epicenter of battle and our prayer here at lifefullandfrugal.com is that the God of Peace will descend on the land of Palestine to rescue and comfort all those who have had to bear such unimaginable suffering. Maran Atha! Come Lord Savior!