Some things never change.
That was the line that repeated in my mind over and over as we visited my parent’s house over New Year's.
I haven’t been “home” for Christmas since 2006. Christmas, and most other holidays for that matter, have taken a different form since I moved out of my parents’ house and started a life for myself three hours away from them. Celebrating holidays was always a pretty big deal as a kid and now I find myself trying to replicate what my parents did with me and my sisters all those years.
The tree goes up. Ornaments are hung. Christmas cards are taped to the archway between the living and dining room (that’s actually an in-law thing). We make an honest attempt at devotions. The Christmas letter actually made it out this year (not without needing to buy a new printer, but we did it). It was a nice Christmas. But it just hasn’t been the same since 2006. Sometimes that’s hard for someone who hangs on tightly to tradition.
My side of the family has changed over the last 9 years. Mom and Dad have made minor changes to the house. We’ve added people to the family. But as I walked around their house this year I noticed things. Familiar things. Little things – insignificant to most people. Things that, when I saw them or smelled them, took me back to even before 2006.
The big green Tupperware bowl filled with Chex Mix.
The cinnamon spice candles burning in the middle of the kitchen table.
The green pickle ornament not very hidden in the branches of the tree.
The ham and pickle roll-ups (and I was reminded why I haven’t picked up that tradition yet. They are not fun to make).
Some things never change. And in those really small things was a lot of peace and calm for me this Christmas.
I don’t always deal well with change. In the three years I’ve been married I think the holidays have been the hardest adjustment for me; trying to merge traditions and create our own. I had to remind myself this year that whatever got done, got done. I had to remind myself what Christmas is really about. And all those nostalgic things from my childhood reminded me of who God is.
Christmas is about what will never change, and what changed us forever.
God is God and God doesn’t change. God made a promise to send a Savior to fix our sinful and broken world, and when God makes a promise He keeps it. He doesn’t change like shifting shadows. He made up His mind and He kept His Word. Just like He always does.
Christmas changes us forever. The God who never changes loves us too much to leave us the way we are in our sin. Jesus changed our eternity. He changed our life’s direction. It’s a change that can be terrifying, but we needed it. We still need that change. Even if it’s hard and even if it scares us. God is there through it with us, just like He promised.
Some things never change. And for that, I am eternally thankful.