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Chasing Christmas contentment
Amber Albee Swenson
by Amber Albee Swenson
December 4, 2019

Contentment at Christmas isn’t on most people’s radar. We buy more, ask for more, demand more. Even when our houses are bursting and we have more clothes, shoes, and accessories than we could EVER use, we browse magazines, look at the online deals, and come up with more for our family to give. We decorate and bake and chase the perfect holiday scene: holly-lined mantles, stockings, trees, and lights.

Perhaps what we’re chasing is exactly what God gave that first Christmas. Jesus’ birth was the part in God’s story where the wealthy “guy” who had it all (more accurately owned it all, created it all), gave up everything to be with a poor, made-a-million-mistakes-and-can’t-ever-get-it-right bride (us, his flawed church).

Is it any wonder that we try to give perfect gifts to those we love? We’re only emulating the gift the Father gave in his Son. And the lights we scatter . . . God did the same thing on the night of Jesus’ birth. He sent angels to light the fields over Bethlehem, delivering the ultimate message of comfort: the work of salvation had begun and everlasting peace was on the way.

No Hallmark movie can match the love story God wrote and continues to write. It’s incomprehensible and overwhelmingly beautiful that we, over two thousand years later, still know and understand the depth of the sacrifice God made to make us his own.

As you decorate and search for the perfect gift, know the longing in your heart is searching for the hope that cures all wounds; know and understand it’s the longing of broken people to feel whole. The hustle we put on ourselves, the warmth we search for in the dead of winter, and the love we long for aren’t found in stores blaring Christmas jingles, an immaculately decorated house, or the perfect gift. The longing and searching heart finds peace in Jesus, because Jesus made peace with God. Ever since humans fell into sin in the Garden of Eden, that’s what we’re missing. That’s what we search for. And that’s the attainable contentment we can find at Christmas.