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Write It On A Rock

Faith and Family
December 23rd, 2013 by Sarah

Four Ways To Put Christ at the Center of Christmas


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Merry Christmas friends and family!  If you read the Eaglebrook blog, then you may have already read this post, but I wanted to post it here as well.

The other day I was with a group of moms and we were talking about how we can help our children to keep theChrist in Christmas. We talked about advent devotionals that we found online and Christmas traditions. As I was doing dishes and listening to Christmas music I thought, “I’m the one who needs to keep the Christ in Christmas.”

I love Christmastime—the lights, the traditions, the snow, and the decorating. I love that yesterday as I was getting my hair cut, “Oh Holy Night” was playing through the speakers rather than Miley Cyrus. I love everything except the shopping, and the stress that comes with that.

But as I did the dishes, I had to remind myself that without all of the things mentioned above, Christmas is about celebrating Jesus. I began singing the Christmas songs (off tune) and thinking about Jesus as I listened to the rich words of the old Christmas hymns. I was not just listening, but worshiping in my heart.

There is nothing wrong with lights and presents to celebrate, but I want to remember Christ with a deep gratitude and not focus on the externals of Christmas.

If we focus on getting a feeling from Christmas, we will most likely end up overspending and disappointed.

So, how can we keep Christ at the center of our lives this Christmas?

1. Meditate on Jesus and what he did for us. It might seem more difficult than ever to spend extra time and energy seeking Jesus in such a busy time, but that is what will actually fill our hearts with joy and enable us to do the things we need to get done. Spend some extra moments reading God’s Word, listening to a sermon while you do housework, or spending some extended time in prayer.

2. Worship. God deserves our worship all day every day, but what a great opportunity the Christmas season is to really think about the words to the Christmas carols and to mean the words as we sing them to Jesus.

3. Give Jesus a gift. What does Jesus want for Christmas? He wants our hearts. Every Christmas we sing happy birthday to Jesus and each member of our immediate family shares the gift we are giving Jesus from our hearts—something we sense that God wants us to do or change in our lives.

4. Remember Jesus during the stressful momentsThe Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:5-6). Those two phrases are directly related. We don’t have to be anxious because God is near through his Holy Spirit. He is closer than our breath. It is because Jesus came to live among us that we can enjoy his presence in a way that people longed to have for thousands of years before Christ came.

Matthew 13:16-17 says, “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see.”

Those who worshiped God from the Old Testament longed to see and hear what we get to see. Abraham, Moses, and David longed to see the coming of the Messiah, and here we are.

When I find myself getting stressed or anxious, a code phrase for me has been to think, “God, You are with me.” That very thought calms me and brings a smile to my face in a stressful situation.

I cannot think of a greater gift than this. The God of the world, with us through the Holy Spirit at all times. “Emmanuel, God with us.”

Comments

One Response to “Four Ways To Put Christ at the Center of Christmas”
  1. Number 3 is my favorite here. It makes me stop and think what my gift would be. The Christmas season is approaching faster than I’d like, and as a mom of three small kids, I really, really don’t want to mess this up. I want to invite Christ into every part of our celebration. Thanks for sharing some tangible ways to do that. Have you read Ann Voskamp’s book The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas? It’s next on my list.

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