The nativity scene pictured here has been part of my Christmas since childhood. I have many fond memories that stir my heart as I think of where it was placed in the home where I grew up and the sweet family times we had at this time of year. It was passed down to me and it continues to be the centerpiece of my Christmas decorating and guides my heart through the season. Let me tell you why— it’s about the heart– my heart and your heart.
The human heart is the source of our life force— it pumps the blood that flows through our veins. When we do cardio exercise in Body & Soul we are strengthening our heart. In fact, the word cardio, short for cardiovascular, means “pertaining to the heart,” and in terms of fitness, it simply means physical exercise that increases the heart rate to a certain point.
But what about our emotional heart— the “heart” we refer to when we talk about loving one another— “I gave my heart,” “that touched my heart,”—you know what I mean— the “heart” connected to our feelings that goes deeper than the physical organ inside our body.
What does your emotional heart long for at Christmas time? What powers you along as you decorate, cook and wrap presents? What is the heart of Christmas for you? For me, it is about just one thing— one person. The answer is found in the word Christmas itself.
The heart of Christmas is Christ. This holiday is a joyful celebration of the moment he came to earth as a tiny child. Joy to the World, the Lord is come! For unto us a child is born, a son is given and his name shall be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, the everlasting Father, the prince of peace. He is Emmanuel, God with us.
The lifeblood of Christmas flows from Jesus, born in Bethlehem, in humble circumstances, the Savior of the world who reaches out to all of us and says “Believe.” If you have forgotten how to believe, or don’t even know what you believe about Jesus, I suggest you open a Bible and read the Christmas story in Luke 2. Imagine what Mary and Joseph felt like when they listened to God’s call and followed their heart, ending up in a stable to have their baby. Imagine what the shepherds felt like when the sky was filled with angels and God’s glory was shining around them, and they, too, followed their heart and went to see the baby that was born. Imagine one more thing— what must it have been like for the kings who saw the star and trekked a far distance, following their heart and bringing their special gifts to the Christ-child.
Then, ponder all this in your heart, just like Mary did, and begin to recapture your awe and wonder. Feel belief well up in your heart and then connect your heart to the heart of God in prayer. The heart of Christmas is the Christ child. The message of Christmas is “Believe!” You are a part of the story.
Share your heart of Christmas story with us. We would love to connect our heart with yours.
Jeannie Blocher is the President Emeritus and Director of Spiritual Impact of Body & Soul Fitness. She is an author and speaker, encouraging people to grow in both faith & fitness.