What typically goes into your Christmas preparations? Do you stream lights and inflatables all over the house and yard? Do you go with your family to a tree farm to pick out the perfect tree, cut it down, bring it home, then find out the tree is quite a bit larger than you thought it was so you have to trim it up? Do you get to spend quality time with your family while everyone takes turns putting ornaments on the tree? Do you thoughtfully plan out time to go Christmas shopping so that you can get the perfect gift for everyone on your list? Or maybe you’re like me, and you don’t bother with putting a tree up in your house because you think it is too much work, and you procrastinate on gift shopping so you just impulse buy everyone on your list things you find on the Amazon suggestion page last minute?! Regardless of what your traditions entail as you prepare for Christmas, I hope that things have been stress free and full of joy for you and your family as Christmas rapidly approaches!
As great as this time of year is though, it does come with some high pressure and high stress environments—all of which we bring on ourselves. I think sometimes we loose sight of what our real focus should be on during the Christmas season because of all the societal pressure to give gifts, decorate our homes, and create a beautiful spectacle of wonder (Christmas tree) that we strategically place in an area that provides the most viewing potential for the cars that drive down our street. Culture has truly taken a hold on what Christmas is supposed to represent, and if we are not careful we will fall into the disillusion. Christmas is supposed to be a time of remembrance for us to reflect on the birth of Savior Jesus Christ. If you find yourself getting caught up in hustle and flow of this misrepresentation of Christmas here are few encouragements to help you get refocused!
Read Matthew 2:1-15
- Seek the right thing this Christmas season. Verse 2
- The wisemen were seeking Jesus for the purpose of worshiping Him.
- Don’t waste this Christmas seeking thanks for giving the perfect gift, or seeking something that will soon be placed on a bookshelf or toy bin simply to collect dust; take time this Christmas to seek Christ!
- Look to the right place this Christmas season. Verse 1 & 9-10
- The wisemen tried to find the baby Jesus on their own and it didn’t work out.
- It wasn’t until they followed the star that they were brought to where Jesus was at.
- During this Christmas season don’t let the stress and chaos of your busy schedule cause you to miss out on what God has planned for you. Look to God and trust that He will guide you!
- Give the right thing this Christmas season. Verse 11
- Yes, Christmas involves gift giving. After all Christmas does celebrates the greatest gift this world has ever received—the birth of Jesus!
- The wisemen gave gifts of symbolic meaning to baby Jesus
ii. Frankincense – symbolic of His role as high priest and intermediary for us
iii. Myrrh – symbolic of His death that was to come
3. During this Christmas season don’t get caught up in giving gifts that have no meaning or make no difference. Give the gift of Godly fellowship to your brothers and sisters in Christ as a means of encouragement! Give your testimony as witness to the lost so that they too can experience the joy and fulfillment of having a relationship with their heavenly Father!
It is easy to get caught up in the showmanship of cultural Christmas, but as believers we know the true reason to celebrate. Rather than having a one person party, take this good news and share with those around you so that this can be the greatest Christmas ever! I would also like to say a huge thanks to Alan Snyder for this post. A little over a week he taught on this and it has helped me shift my focus back to what is truly important and worthy of celebration this Christmas!