I love the snow, I love the utter chaos in every major store from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve, I love the music, and I love the decorations; I LIVE for Christmas. As a person with a lot of family, I have four Christmas celebrations to try and fit into one day. December is full of Christmas parties for work, celebrations with friends, school programs to attend, shopping to finish, baking to do, wrapping to suffer through, and much, much more! This time of reflection and peace often turns into our most dreaded season! We fill our schedules with so much to do that we begin to forget why we’re doing it! How do we stop ourselves from making Christmas about us? How can we make sure that Jesus is the center of every celebration?
One way that I believe we can be intentional about keeping our focus on Jesus this season is spending time in a prayer of thanksgiving every day for what God has given to us. Maybe prayer isn’t something that comes naturally to you and you’re never quite sure what to say; I bet you can find one thing in your life to say,
“God, thank you for this good gift and thank you for sending your Son. I pray my heart stays focused on Him.”
Another way I believe we can be intentional this season is by setting aside quiet time each week to reflect on the Christmas story and remember God’s faithfulness to us. Now I know you’re thinking, “But what about the school programs! The baking! The work parties!” and I hear you. But my challenge to you is to ask yourself, “What commitments have I made that are distracting me from being faithful to God with my time and what can I let go of so that I can draw nearer to Him?” A successful Christmas is not a busy Christmas; it is a Christmas spent worshipping God and reflecting on the greatest Gift ever given to us: Jesus Christ.
In our culture, we thrive on busyness. We measure our success by how much we need to accomplish. We’re out on social media, making sure everyone knows that we’re busier than they are. But God calls us to rest; a fruit of His spirit is peace. I encourage you to trust that setting aside time to reflect on the coming our of Christ will never be disappointing; giving up a few Christmastime commitments to spend time with your family in prayer and thanksgiving is one of the best gifts to give yourself this year.
Luke 2:5-14 tells us the story of an angel appearing before the shepherds to declare that Jesus was born. It tells us that suddenly, a multitude of the heavenly host appear, praising God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!”. The heavenly host were unable to contain their joy, their worship of God in this moment. Our Savior has come to us in the form of man in order to redeem us. What if we reflected on this, felt it so deeply, that we became like the heavenly host? Unable to contain our joy! Unable to contain our worship! What if we spent the next three weeks considering what it must have been like to feel the anticipation of Jesus’ birth? God’s promise to send someone to crush the serpent’s head has been fulfilled (Genesis 3:14-15). He’s here!
LifePoint Church, we are beyond blessed this Christmas season. We have much to be thankful for. God has been good and faithful to us to provide us a new home to celebrate Christmas in this year! When the feeling of being overwhelmed starts to creep in and the stress of busyness distracts you from Jesus, remember God’s faithfulness and grace to you in Christ. We have been given so much more than we deserve.