I love Christmas. It’s the most wonderful time of the year as we celebrate Christ and have time with family and friends. This time of year gives us so many chances to create memories as we share our love with meals, gifts and watch movies – like Christmas vacation and Home Alone. Classics!
It’s a great time to reflect on what God has done throughout the year and how He has been faithful. It’s also powerful to be hopeful in what Christ does in our lives. He is the same yesterday, today and forever; therefore, His light and love are piercing our darkest night for His Glory.
Because of this, Christmas is great!
Yet we often have to navigate what I call American Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I love and embrace many of our Christmas traditions. I value the many moments they’ve given me that I won’t forget. However, these also present challenges. It’s a dichotomy between a wonderful holiday and also feeling rushed, pressured and hurrying to get ready. Have you been there? I have, and it can take the joy of Christmas.
You see, when I say The American Christmas, I’m not referring to the Christmas tree, lights, decorations, school performances or sledding when it snows. I’m talking about pace. It seems like it’s getting faster each year. This makes it hard to take in the moments and to make the moments count. It also tends to weaken our focus away from the Light of the World: Jesus. When this happens, stress, anxiety and family struggles seems to overwhelm us. This is more common than we realize. And while there is nothing wrong with facing these things, they don’t have to take over our lives.
Christ gave us Christmas so we could have hope, peace and joy.
Luke 2:14 says, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
This is one of the proclamations made about Jesus being born and what He would do. Notice, He brought peace and He continue to bring peace because He’s the Prince of Peace! This applies to us in that, Jesus will give us daily peace. Our life is filled with promises from heaven, yet the tension we have with our daily stuff can be difficult. But Jesus is greater. The American Christmas can lead us into a rat race of moving and never resting. Talking but not listening. Giving but not receiving. All of these can leave our holidays hollow.
So how do we navigate The American Christmas?
I’m determined to do a couple of things, and I believe you can do these too.
First, I’m choosing to be thankful for Jesus. I know that sounds basic but it’s powerful. When we simply remember who He is, that alone can melt our hearts. He’a amazing, everlasting, the beginning and the end. He is light, He the bright and morning star. He’s our healer and our friend. He’s the Christ, the King of our lives and of His Kingdom. These truths can lift our faith and our perspective. No matter what we face, when we choose to be thankful for Jesus, I believe things change.
What has Jesus done for you this year?
Second, I’m choosing to be with my family. This sounds simple but in truth it’s a challenge. We can be home but not be home. We can be present but not be in the present, and this is how we miss hearts. I’m determined to be in the moment and to create memories that last forever. This is something we must fight for as our families can get the left overs of our day, energy and heart. But God has given us our families not as left overs but as the fuel that inspires us. I encourage you this Christmas to live in the moment. Make it count, and let your family know you love them and why you love them. This is big. All of us need to hear these things from those we love.
Who in your family can you love on this Christmas?
This is what I’m doing and I hope you join me.
Have a great Christmas and we hope to see you at our Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship Experiences. It will be great.