This was my most popular post from the 2016 holiday season, and it’s a good reminder for this Christmas. Below, author Sherry Gareis asks a couple of great questions and makes a few helpful suggestions to make this your most memorable Christmas ever.
Where in the CHRISTMAS is Jesus?
Valid question, right? I mean CHRIST should be in Christmas, shouldn’t He?
How do we usually show Jesus?
Anyone own a ‘Jesus is the Reason for the Season’ pin? I have several and make no bones about wearing them during December.
We display Jesus on our Christmas trees, right? I’ve got verses and nativity scenes on my tree. My favorite is an angel tree topper which embodies the spirit of the season.
And how about on our Christmas cards? Isn’t that an easy way to share Jesus?
Am I suggesting that pins, angels, and cards are bad? Of course not. Not at all! But are they enough?
Could you be missing blessings?
MAYBE WE GOT IT BACKWARDS
Anyone love a good themed party? Oh, how I do! For my grandson’s first birthday, we threw a John Deer Tractor Party. The cake was over the top cool with green and yellow décor everywhere. Little chocolate donuts were tractor tires and Rice Krispie treats were hay stacks.
It was so much fun to plan and prepare, so understand that I’m not calling out those who love them a good themed party, but . . .
Might I suggest that not making room for Jesus at Christmas is like throwing the ultimate birthday party but forgetting about the birthday boy?
Christmas isn’t about sharing remnants of Jesus or extending tidbit tokens. It’s about putting Jesus front and center in the celebration.
ROADBLOCKS TO JESUS IN CHRISTMAS
So what stops us from putting Jesus first? What distractions prevent even the best of intentions from coming to fruition?
- Focusing on the perfect gifts
- Competing with family members, friends, co-workers, and neighbors
- Over-the-top decorations
- Striving to serve the perfect meal
Does Christmas become a catalyst for you to get wrapped up in your own desires or issues? To concentrate on what YOU want?
Do you crave being the center of attention? Do you have underlying jealousy issues? Do you suffer from discontentment?
Perhaps you just truly enjoy spoiling people and blessing them with delicious food, thoughtful presents, and wonderful moments. If so, what better way to bless others than to share the love of Jesus in all you do.
Getting caught up in the materialistic, surface stuff may produce a nice moment, but you can love on family and friends in ways that will impact them for eternity rather than just an hour or two.
Growing up, I didn’t know Jesus. In fact, I came from a Jewish background.
While some of my family members attended temple and kept Kosher, these rituals weren’t taught or practiced in my life. Consequently, the holidays became an odd mix of Christmas trees and Hanukkah bushes, Christmas lights and Menorah candles. The festivities centered around family, food, and fun.
Not negative in and of itself, but certainly lacking truth and faith rooted in the birth of Jesus Christ.
It took me awhile to get it. Even though I was saved in my early twenties, my spiritual growth was slow. Over time, as I studied more and deepened my relationship with Christ, He revealed to me the true meaning of Christmas.
Far more than just a birthday celebration, it’s the story of God who loved us so much that He sent His only Son to earth to save us from our sins. And this wasn’t any easy journey. Jesus was born into a sinful world, faced extreme persecution and pain, and was ultimately sacrificed to atone for the sins of those who believe.
Christmas is very special indeed.
PUTTING THE CHRISTMAS BACK IN YOUR MERRY
So how do we put Christ back in Christmas, glorify His Kingdom, and share His love? As you may have guessed, I’ve got some ideas!
1. Create Meaningful Moments
In the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparation, so much gets pushed aside. Unfortunately, those neglected items are often people which, in the grand scheme of things, are far more important than the other stuff. Leave wiggle room on your calendar and cultivate time for meaningful moments to blossom.
2. Develop A Closer Relationship With Christ
It’s natural that we develop close relationships with those we spend the most time with. Jesus isn’t any different! Talk to Him, listen to Him, draw closer to Him, and ‘Be Still’ with Him. “Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10.
3. Bring Glory to His Kingdom
Frankly, it’s the entire reason we are here. Our words, actions, behaviors, and service should all point back to glorifying God.
4. Walk In Obedience To God
Sometimes rules seem constricting or boring. But the truth is that when you are obedient, you will find peace, joy, and freedom. Submitting to God’s Will for your life also gives Him the opportunity to bless you.
5. Train Up Your Kids
This one is a biggie, parents. The responsibility to train up our kids is an enormous gift from God. Making room for Jesus at Christmas can come just as naturally as ‘thank-you’ and buckling their seatbelt if you model it during their formative years. Give them the gift that keeps on giving and foster a Christ-centered environment.
PUT YOUR HEART WHERE YOUR CHRISTMAS IS
Instead of planning Christmas and then sprinkling in a little bit of Jesus, make Christmas about Jesus and then sprinkle in a little bit of life.
Some other thoughts . . .
- Show Jesus by performing acts of service. Love on others by volunteering in your community.
- Emulate Jesus by simplifying the Christmas holiday. Ditch any drama!
- Obey Jesus by practicing fiscal responsibility. Make a plan, and stick to it.
- Enjoy Jesus by embracing experiences. Have a ‘Mary’ Christmas and make time to sit at the Lord’s feet.
- Share Jesus by sowing into people’s lives. Share your testimony, speak truth in love, and extend invitations.
This Christmas can be different. Commit to making room for Jesus and watch the true magic of Christmas unfold.
About My Guest
Lindon & Sherry Gareis, founders of Action Plan Ministries, are Christian Life Coaches from sunny Arizona who have a passion for helping people declutter their lives. Utilizing their combined personal and professional experience, they equip, encourage and inspire others through purposeful advice and practical application. Lindon and Sherry enjoy writing, boating, hiking, and smoking a mean rack of ribs with family and friends. They love spending time together and are committed to a lifelong honeymoon.
To read more about them, click here.