“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
Christmas Eve. Christmas morning. New Year’s. The holidays tend to act as an amplifier of our soul. We live in an exciting time when much of the Church is redefining her role with all her members and also in regard to Christ. We enjoy a liberty as adopted children and the way we participate in our holidays reflects this. We are beginning to think outside the old wine-skin.
The religious caste system is being cast off. I hear and read of our fellow Christians describing with heartfelt sincerity the way the holidays are being observed (or not observed) and how profoundly Jesus Christ is changing their thinking. We get to enjoy the unconditional acceptance and love of our Father, and what a gift indeed that is! Less “religion” and more “relationship.”
This is wonderful!
At the same time, however, there is a deep pang within much of the Body of Christ. A deeper, darker stabbing at our soul. An old sorrow from long ago. For many, if we are honest, we can trace that feeling back to the earliest memories of our Christmas experiences. When the excitement of present opening is concluded, wrapping paper scraps are all rounded up, and mass quantities of our favorite Christmas morning breakfast have finally sated us… And we finally just sit… with ourselves.
Where is our joy? Where is our rest?
For many, just reading this is enough for us to identity with that seemingly ancient, dull malady. The promise of a gift that we now realize lies not under the tree, and is much greater than the comforts of our holiday traditions. Just outside the grasp of our soul, we can feel the faintest rolling drum, keeping time to a tempo not our own.
Joy is directly tied to the depth of revelation we know we are loved. This is the full message of John chapter 15. More than this, the depth of our awareness of His love, is the depth of love we can pour out upon our family, friends and strangers.
This is one of the reasons why frustration, fear and anxiety build as we approach the holiday. The more the drumbeat of our heart is not in sync with His, the greater the discord we will feel in our soul. These are divine opportunities to lay down our own song; to pick up the song of the redeemed. It is an opportunity to go back; go back to the beginning, and once again let our heart’s only sound be that of a child saying;
“I receive your love, Father. I put aside all things that attempt to counterfeit that reality.”
Our inner being is meant to resonate His affection.
This is where true joy lies, family. Joy comes from putting down the “Martha” motives and picking up “Mary” motives. In the coming weeks and into the New Year we all will feel and hear the song of our heart. The passion of our Lord is so intense He will speak to us each throughout the days to come on what tune we are playing. If you feel a lack of rest rising within you; if joy seems to elude you and that pang rises within your being… don’t start playing that drum faster. Please, put down the sticks and just sit with Him. Let Him do a little healing within us. Little by little, right?
He wants to give us all a new song and a new cadence. He is the fullness of our joy and the rest of our souls. He wants us to cease running to and fro looking for the next “thing” to deaden that ache.
“The ox and lamb kept time…”
We too, are more than capable of living out of this rest.
I invite all of us this holiday season to connect with the true Joy that is available within our spirit. Just, sit with Him. Like the little drummer boy, we will begin to perceive a new beat rise. One of Love. With the tempo of rest and an expression of the deepest sense of abiding fulfillment. Have a blessed and joy-filled holiday season to you all, my brothers and sisters. Peace.
Your fellow fledgling drummer~