Live Like Hobbits
Ah, the holidays are here! Not that you needed the reminder. But Christmas is coming!
Good food, good laughs, gifts given and received. And hobbits.
Yes, hobbits. Hobbits and Christmas are very similar.
If you've read or seen The Lord of The Rings, you know what a hobbit is. They were a people that lived in the north of Middle Earth that caused so little ruckus that most of Middle Earth's inhabitants didn't even know they existed. Seldom growing taller than three feet in our measure, they wore bright colors, lived peacefully, and knew how to party. Here's how Tolkien described them:
Their faces were as a rule good-natured rather than beautiful, broad, bright-eyed, red-cheeked, with mouths apt to laughter, and to eating and drinking. And laugh they did, and eat, and drink, often and heartily, being fond of simple jests at all times, and of six meals a day (when they could get them). They were hospitable, and delighted in parties, and in presents, which they gave away freely and eagerly accepted.
Such a people sound amazing. Of course, there are a few exceptions (if you make it through the series, you'll meet a few of them). But based on that description, I'd love to be a hobbit. Or at least have their attitude.
I (Dane) once heard a friend of mine say, "live like a hobbit" referring to the Christmas season. When I heard that statement, it made my head spin with different questions. How can someone live like a hobbit? What does "living like a hobbit" have to do with Christmas? Then I realized, Christmas is all about bright colors, friends, family, great food, good drink, a love of laughter, and celebrations. And as I thought about that, I realized that hobbits love these things as well. That is amazing. But wait, if that is true how can I "live like a hobbit" this Christmas season?
Before we go any further, we just want to acknowledge that Christmas can be very painful and lonely. And we’re sorry. In no way are we trying to make you feel bad for lack of excitement or happiness, nor are we suggesting that you fake it.
Because Jesus didn’t. When Lazarus died, He wept. When it came time to go to the cross, He agonized over what He knew He had to endure. And yet, Philippians 2 says “for the joy set before him,” He endured the cross, and ultimately rose to victory, taking His seat at the Father’s right hand.
Whatever makes this season painful is a blip on the screen of life. Pain is okay. But don’t let it stifle the happiness and joy that can be found in Jesus.
All that said, here’s some ways to live like a hobbit in the midst of the holidays.
Bringing Joy To Others
In order to bring joy to others, you have to know what brings them joy.
Hobbits are all the same. They all like a good party.
Humans are not all the same. But most of them like a good party. With good food. Sure, we all disagree on what “good” is. But the desire is there.
Through the holidays (and life, really), do your best to create a welcoming and hospitable environment in whatever you do.
Bringing Joy To Yourself
Experiencing joy yourself can be so linked to others’ joy. At least it is for me (Brandon). Often the absolute last thing I want to do is go to a party. But if other people are having a good time, I generally am too.
I’ve personally found that when I try to feel happy, I'm never happy. I wonder if I'm doing some thing wrong, or if I've done something wrong, and how my actions and words are interpreted and whether people like me and...
And I wonder why I never get "there."
On the flip side, I've found that when I focus on others and their happiness, I’m a lot less crabby, and I’m happier myself.
Ultimately Bringing Joy To Christ
We celebrate Christmas because of Jesus. When we make Him a big deal, we make Him happy.
Ultimately, it’s reflecting on Him and what He’s done that will produce the most lasting joy, because He has filled our greatest need. We can never throw a good enough party or give enough gifts to get the joy that is ultimately offered in Christ.
How To Live Like A Hobbit During Christmas
Two years ago, after Redeemer's Christmas Eve Service, my wife and I invited a few people over to our house for an extravagant feast. We decided to buy great meat, get gifts for these people, bring out our special drink and be marry together.
Deep down in my sinful heart I didn't want to share my good food and drink because I wanted it all to myself. Fortunately, when I saw the joy and peace that was on the faces of these people because of the wonderful gifts, well that was the greatest gift one could give me.
So how do you live like a Hobbit during Christmas?
Enjoy the season that is upon us. Throw a lavish party with great food and drink. Laugh often, learn to relax and for goodness sakes do not take yourself too seriously. Christmas is a season of great joy. Not because we get presents, not because we have good food and drink in our system. No, the only reason you can live like a Hobbit on Christmas is because the season is about the coming of the great Messiah. King Jesus has come, conquered, and is consummating a redeemed creation to Himself.
So this season, enjoy the beautiful gifts that this time brings upon us. Have joy, often laugh, throw a party and enjoy this beautiful season.
This week's post co-written by deacons Dane and Brandon.