Danger is my game. Passion has never made me the same. Have you ever said a dangerous prayer? You know the one. The one that totally rearranges your world.
The year was 1998. The verse I cried out from the core of my being was Isaiah 6:8: “Here I am. Send me!” Then I sincerely added, “Here I am Lord. Do what you will.”
After Thanksgiving that year and prior to Christmas Day, several resources plopped into my lap that spoke about the pagan-Christian mixture of Christmas. I had some slight recollection of knowing this (obviously Santa and his reindeers weren’t in the Bible), but I literally saw no harm in it. To me, it seemed like innocent fun. Besides I considered that celebrating Christmas was celebrating Christ (both with Santa and without). I felt that the saying, “Jesus is the reason for the season” was a reality in my life.
In 1998, I love the beauty of the Christmas season. I enjoyed the Christmas plays with children dressed in their finest doing the “darnedest” things. I thought few things compared to the beauty of a lit Christmas tree with gorgeously wrapped packages strewn about. I looked forward to seeing family, for it seemed like the best time of the year to get together. It made me smile when children got so excited about Santa and the gifts he gave to good boys and girls. At the time, I could have been counted to be among the majority who loved Christmas. Yet way back (even when I was a small child), somewhere deep inside of me I sensed that something was amiss.
Within a very short amount of time, not only had I divinely acquired resources about the pagan root and rituals of Christmas, but I also had the grace to read them all quickly, taking most of it to heart. I remember having an extremely strong spirit of conviction, which I knew only God could manufacture.
When I saw a vivid apparition of Jesus with tears in His eyes, it was the last straw. I simply inquired, “Why are you crying, Yeshua?” He replied, “The mixture of Christmas grieves My heart.” Jesus let this bombshell sink in as I reeled at this revelation, He then added, “Come out of Babylon and lay down Christmas, for I will have a pure and spotless Bride.” “I will make mention of… Babylon to those who know Me” (Psalm 87:4).
Amazed and astounded, I knew from a previous experience that to do anything less than what God had revealed to me was to choose myself and my own ways. This rough lesson taught me that choosing my own way was an act of unbelief; and unbelief was an open door for a deaf-and-dumb spirit (i.e. spirit of stupor) to oppress my life. I wanted no part of that spirit of stupor again! I was totally cognizant that when the Lord told me, “Come out of Babylon and lay down Christmas,” my choice would move me either closer to Him or farther away. The only option for my sold-out heart was to respond with a feeble, but genuine heart cry: “Lord, I want to. Help me. Show me the way. My husband’s not ready for this. Give me, give us a way out.”
Little did I expect the response to another one of my dangerous prayers to be so dramatic and so soon. Within a few hours our gorgeous Christmas tree, decorated to the hilt with so many sweet memories, was infested with hundreds, if not thousands, of tiny spiders. I remember sauntering over to the mantle, because I saw something between my two crystal angel candleholders. It looked like pieces of artificially-spun snow. The problem being I had never used it. Of course, I reached out to see what this spun stuff was. I drew my hand through the seemingly ethereal material up toward my face. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! I screamed at the top of my lungs and danced some sort of jig when I discovered I was holding a web and several tiny spiders right before my eyes! My heart was racing and my eyes wide as I frantically looked around with adrenaline clarity. Spiders were everywhere!!! As you probably could have guessed, at the time I could have been diagnosed with arachnophobia.
The first thing I did was call my good friend Linda. She was wise and caring, and probably would understand my dilemma. My conversation with Linda went something like: “Liiiinnnnnda!!! Jesus showed up in person, and I just prayed a couple hours ago that the Lord would give me a way out of Christmas. Now my Christmas tree is infested with spiders, and they’re all over the house! I can’t staaaand this! What am I to do?! John is going to be upset if I throw out this Christmas tree! But I can not live with spiders!” Linda calmed me down enough to think fairly rationally. She also gave me some excellent advice: (1) Call John. Tell him what’s happening. Your husband is kind and supportive. (2) I’ll be right over to help you… a friend indeed. In hindsight, it’s nice to have had an eyewitness.
After a couple phone calls, I discovered that John was unavailable and in an all-day meeting. I could interrupt for emergencies, but I reasoned that telling him now or when he got home wouldn’t make much of a difference. I knew the outcome would be the same. Those spiders with “their” tree were outta here! I can still picture my poor husband driving up to the house seeing our formerly lovely tree stripped of all its glory and laying ceremony-less at the curb. You should have seen the dazed on his face when he came through the door.
Basically, Linda and I dismantled the Christmas tree with supernatural glee. We listened to God on what to throw away and what to keep. He allowed me to keep some dear memories, which the Lord led me to throw away seven years later. Other beautiful and sentimental possessions we threw out. As I tossed them in the trash, I kept thinking over and over again: “Man, this is radical! This is radical! This is radical!”
During the entire dismantling process, there was such an incredible spirit of joy where we both had no doubt that the Lord was pleased. I wished that this was one of the times that the Lord would have opened my spiritual eyes to be able to see the spiritual realm for I sensed both God and angels rejoicing. God definitely knew how to “give me, give us a way out.”
Once the tree, which represented Christmas for us, was taken to the curb, I took a moment to fix a cup of soothing black tea (with cream and sugar, of course). I sat at the kitchen table staring at our presents in the living room, which had been placed in the bare corner where the tree used to reside. I took a sip of tea and stared. Took another sip. Stared. This went on for some time. I still was in touch with an unspeakable spirit of joy and peace that started with the dismantling process, but I also felt a distinct void. It was like having a rug being pulled out from beneath you. I had lost my footing, so I sought the Lord. I bemoaned, “There’s a big hole in our life now. What are we to do?” I distinctly heard Jesus say: “Do what I did. If Chanukah was good enough for Me, it’s good enough for you.” “What will you do on the day of your appointed feasts, on the festival days of the Lord?” (Hosea 9:5).
Wow! This was news to me. But of course, Jesus grew up and lived as a Jew while here on earth. I just never thought about Jesus celebrating the winter festival of Chanukah. I went to my Strong’s Concordance and looked under the word “winter” to find the reference: “Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade (John 10:22-23).
So in 1998, our family set out to celebrate Chanukah. We were just like little children trying to please our parent with a clumsy, yet sincere, stab at doing what Jesus did. One of us actually was a child. My son was five-years-old at the time. When he got home from daycare, Cody was playing in his room when he asked me, “Mommy, Why is the tree in the street?” I lovingly told him, “The tree was infested with spiders and I had to throw out the tree.” I genuinely added, “We aren’t going to celebrate Christmas anymore.” Sweet Code-man responded, “Okay. What are we going to do?” I told him, “We are going to do what Jesus did. We are going to celebrate Chanukah, and you get to open your presents for eight days instead just one.” The purity of my sweet little boy’s heart spoke volumes, “Sounds good to me.” I noticed that it was much harder for a thirty-something me than for a five-year-old to “come out of Babylon, and lay down Christmas” to become part of our Beloved’s pure and spotless Bride.
Copyright Nov. 28, 2012 – Author: Robin Main.
Most references to the things I write on this blog can be found in my book SANTA-TIZING: What’s wrong with Christmas and how to clean it up (available on amazon http://www.amazon.com/SANTA-TIZING-Whats-wrong-Christmas-clean/dp/1607911159/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353692179&sr=1-1&keywords=SANTA_TIZING)