Do You Hear What I Hear? Unwrapping the True Treasure of Christmas

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. – Isaiah 9:6 NIV

Can I be honest?


I’ve lost the Christmas spirit.


Ornaments, cookies, and gifts just don’t interest me. I’m not excited about Christmas cards, Christmas carols, or Christmas lights. The rushing, shopping, cooking, and partying have all lost their appeal.


I’ve lost that lovin’ Christmas feeling and here’s why:


I’ve wrapped Christmas in too many layers.

photo: Raye Wortel

photo: Raye Wortel


There are layers of rituals, traditions, and obligations. There are layers of must-haves and must-dos. And even more layers of expectations, promises, and plans.


For me, Christmas has become so layered I don’t recognize it anymore.


It’s truth hidden behind every candy cane, ribbon, and jingle bell.


And this Christmas I dislike so much? Is of my own creation.


How did this happen?


As I wonder, I’m reminded of Solomon’s words:


“Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 2:11)


That’s where I am. All this stuff – the work and toil chalks up to worthless fruitcake in the wind.


Yet, In true Christmas fashion hope prevails, for beyond the sights and sounds of the holiday, I hear a still, small voice …


Do you hear it too?


Do you hear what I hear?


I hear an Everlasting Father urging me to lay aside my bedazzled Christmas, so I can BE dazzled by the One born in a manger.


I hear Almighty God whispering to my heart to let go of the Christmas I know – steeped in must-haves, to know my only must-have is Jesus.


I hear the Prince of Peace asking me to unwrap this Christmas, layer by heavy layer, and see the true treasure of Him as the perfect Gift.


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. (Isaiah 9:6)


To us – His church, a child – a son was given.


Not to trade Him for a snowman, or dress Him as an elf.


Not to swap Him for piles of presents, and dozens of cookies.


And not to bargain His purpose with our own plans.


A son was given to us for one reason – Salvation.


A solitary act of love that shreds every layer we’ll ever wrap around Christmas.


I invite you to put down your ornaments and egg nog, drop your wrapping paper and plastic reindeer, and let go of every self-imposed burden in the name of Christmas to rest in awe at the foot of a filthy feeding trough.


Let’s spend this holiday unwrapping the notion that Christmas was already made perfect over 2,000 years ago when a son was given to us.


In honor of unwrapping Christmas, Renae and I want to help you find a little extra time to spend with your Savior, so we’re taking a break from our weekly blog posts and will return with more inspiring stories of hope on January 5th. As a special treat, we’re sending you 25 Bible verses to guide you in your Christmas quiet time, plus 10 verses to encourage you as you begin 2015.


We pray you and your family will have a blessed and hope-filled Christmas!

3 Replies

  1. Pam

    A very timely reminder, Raye. Thank you!! And Merry Christmas, for all the RIGHT reasons!

  2. Karen Uribe

    I so needed to read this this morning! Thank you. I have had a heavy heart this holiday season with all MY expectations, and quietly I have heard the Lord speak to my heart that this season is about HIM, not me. Even though that has brought me some peace, I slip back every day just a little into myself again. 🙁 Sometimes I believe he strips us of everything we are use to or expect so we can humbly see His face again, and for that I am grateful! I am also grateful for you 2 ladies writing this very special blog all year, THANK YOU! Merry Christmas to you both!

    1. Raye Wortel

      Thank you so much Karen, Merry Christmas to you!

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