Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Few Thoughts for Christmas!!!

Since it is the Christmas holiday season I thought it would be good to maybe give you a few thoughts that might help you have a better holiday this year.

1. Enjoy the moment!
There were two buddies who decided to go sailing the week before Christmas. Suddenly they were caught up in a big storm and their boat was blown onto a sand bar. These two guys found themselves standing in waist deep, freezing water with sleet falling all around them and the wind howling out of the north. One guy looked at the other and said, "Boy this is sure is a big mess we've gotten ourselves into. Even if we are rescued we will probably have pneumonia for Christmas." His friend replied, "Yep! We are in a big mess...but it sure beats Christmas shopping with our wives!" 

It is easy to get overwhelmed by the Christmas shopping, the gifts, the lights, the parties, and all of the activities of Christmas to the point that we forget to enjoy the moment. We sing "Silent night" but there is never any silence in our lives at Christmas. There is only noise and chaos. Why not slow down or just stop right now...relax...quit hurrying...cease activities and just enjoy the moments of Christmas. This time we have at Christmas to celebrate with family members (yes even the ones you don't like) and friends will never come again. Why rush through it? Choose to enjoy it. 

2. Don't complicate Christmas!
Jesus was born to simple parents in a simple place and was visited by simple, uncomplicated shepherds. What we have done is take "the most wonderful time of the year" and we have complicated it with so many things that have nothing to do with Christmas. Stop trying to have a Normal Rockwell Christmas. Stop trying to turn your Christmas and family into a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie. Do you really need to make all those cookies for everyone? Does every present have to be wrapped like the women who posted on Pinterest Do you have to go to every party? You do not have to complicate the holidays. The messenger of God brought to our lives that first Christmas "Good news of great joy" and not bad news, chaos, or complications.

3. Focus on Jesus!
It is really easy to get all caught up in all that the world tells you will make you happy at Christmas while forgetting all about Jesus! Christmas is about Jesus. It is about His love for us. It is about how God gave US the greatest gift of all in sending His one and only Son into the world (John 3:16). Christmas is about Jesus coming into the world as "Emmanuel" which means "God with us" so He can identify with our lives, struggles, challenges, hurts, temptations, and pain. Christmas is about the one who received the name "Jesus" because "He will save His people from their sin." 

Refamiliarize yourself and your family with the Christmas story. Attend Christmas Eve service at FBC at 5 pm or a Christmas eve / Christmas day service at your church or a church near you. Pray and thank God for all of His many gifts and blessings in your life. Give a gift of yourself, your time, and your resources back to God this year. Financially give money over and above your tithe to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering for International missions. Help another family in need. Make this Christmas about Jesus!

4. Come out of Christmas Changed! 
If you go through the entire Christmas celebration and you come out on the other side of it the same person you are right now and not more committed to Christ then you've missed the entire point of the holiday. When Jesus came into the world that first Christmas, everything and everyone who came in contact with Jesus was changed forever. The Shepherds, for example, went away rejoicing, praising God, and telling others about all they had seen and experienced. I pray this will be what happens in our lives this year as well!

Merry Christmas and may your holiday be filled with the love of Jesus!!!