Most of us want to get that Christmas feeling…the spirit of Christmas that fills our souls with warmth and good will. Yet, inevitably we find ourselves stressed, anxious and feeling everything and anything BUT good will. It’s kind of like “buyer’s remorse.” You see something, want it, save for it and finally buy it, but it doesn’t meet your expectations. Well, that’s kind of how it is with Christmas. We have high expectations, but somehow our hopes are dashed in the frenzy of decorating, buying, wrapping, and social gatherings. We lose sight of the true reason for the season. There must be a way back, a way to do Christmas the right way, a way to experience joy and embrace the celebration of Christ’s birth rather than just “getting through it.”
Scriptures – Luke 2:1-20; John 15:15
Verses – And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” (Luke 2:13-14)
Thought – Looking at things from a different perspective can help you get Christmas right. First, make a commitment to read the Christmas story (Luke 2:1-20) every day between now and Christmas. When you start thinking about what God did to save a broken world, sending Jesus as your Savior, it changes you. When you see a nativity, think of the Christmas story. The nativity isn’t just another decoration. It represents an event that marked human history and our eternity. It changed the world forever. Let that reality sink into your spirit! When you hear a Christmas song, think of that first song the angels sang on the first Christmas, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.” (Luke 2:14) God deserves all glory and honor, and we are blessed to be among those whom he favors. When you receive a Christmas card, say a prayer for the friend who thought of you and wanted to reach out. Be thankful to God that you are on His list, that Jesus calls you a friend (John 15:15). When you pay for anything with your credit card, debit card, whatever, while you wait for the receipt, be thankful that Jesus paid your debt…that your sins have been forgiven because Jesus came to earth to be your Savior. When you receive a gift lift a prayer of thanksgiving for the one who gave the gift. Love motivates giving. Be thankful for the love of that person. As you hold the present reflect on the fact that what you needed most came in a small package, a perfect gift, a baby in a manger. Remember the gift of salvation. Let’s get this Christmas right!
Questions – What is your favorite Christmas memory? What do you most look forward to in the Christmas season? What do you most dread about the Christmas season? Is Christmas more joy-filled or stress-filled for you? Explain. What do you need to do to make Christmas right? Name 3 things that would improve your Christmas season.
Response – Read the Christmas story each day. Follow through with the things you can do to improve your Christmas perspective using the ideas in “Thought” above.
Prayer – Dear God, help me in this Christmas season to focus on the gift you gave to this broken world in order to bring us salvation. Help me to worship at the manger once again and to take in the sights and sounds of this holy season. May the reality of Christ’s birth sink into my heart and soul and allow me to truly celebrate all that you have done for me! In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen.