Whenever I walk into a Christian bookstore or browse the decoration aisles at stores during Christmastime, I always see the little plaques, paintings, and wood decorations that say “Jesus Is the Reason For the Season.” And that is absolutely true. Absolutely and completely true. But it’s so hard to internalize that truth when we’re so wrapped up in the gifts, the food, the family gatherings, the stress, the chaos, or the decorations that nearly always pop up during the Christmas season.
I know that I’ve had that problem many times. I get so caught up in buying my family presents, wondering what the packages under the tree hold for me, baking (and, of course, taste-testing 😉 ) Christmas cookies, and decorating my house that Jesus just becomes an afterthought. I struggle with this problem every year, some more than others.
But I don’t want it to be that way. I want Jesus to be at the forefront of my mind. I want to love him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. He is my salvation and my peace, my comfort and my healer. He allows me to draw breath and walk this earth that he created even though I’m a sinner, undeserving of his amazing grace and perfect love.
This time leading up to Christmas has been one of those times for me, where all of a sudden I realize that I’ve let prayer and thoughts of my Savior slide to the back burner. There has been so much craziness in my life lately, and I haven’t been handling it very well. I’ve allowed the stress and the busyness to fill my thoughts, and I haven’t turned to Jesus for help. I’ve been trying to do it all on my own, and it hasn’t worked out very well for me. I took control, basically telling God that I could do it all by myself.
But I can’t do it all by myself. I’ve allowed stress to grow and grow, not turning to Jesus for the peace that he promises his children. This season, I’ve examined my heart, and I’ve found a need to prepare Him room.
I want Jesus to be the treasure of my heart, the One that I love above all else. I want to live like that, trusting him fully, being fully faithful in everything that I do.
These last few days leading up to Christmas will fly by, and I want to use them to refocus my heart and my attention on Jesus. And I never want to lose the wonder of the story behind the holiday.
Jesus was perfectly obedient to the will of God the Father, humbling himself to be born of a virgin in the lowly town of Bethlehem. He went through all the phases of childhood, just like every other child in history, except for one thing: he lived an absolutely perfect life. He never yelled at his siblings, lied to his parents, hurt his friends’ feelings, or had one single bad thought. He was perfect.
Jesus grew into a man, and he was falsely accused and condemned to die. He died on the cross, taking on all the sins of the world and burying them forever. After three days in the grave, he rose from the dead, defeating death forever. And for everyone who accepts his free gift of salvation, he gives eternal life and makes us righteous in the eyes of God. Because of his sacrifice on the cross and resurrection from the dead, we can have an intimate relationship with God and come before him in prayer.
All of this never would have happened without the miracle of Christmas, and I never want to take that for granted. So in the remainder of this Christmas season, and in every season of life, I am going to prepare room for Jesus in my heart, making sure that He is the One who has first place in my life.
Christmas is a time of joy and celebration, a time to enjoy family, open gifts, deck the halls, and feast on delicious food. But most of all, it is a special time to remember the wonder of the miracle of Christmas: Jesus’s birth on this earth so that He could save us from our sins and make us right with the Father.
‘”She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).”Matthew 1:21-23
How has your Christmas season been, friends? I hope that this time is blessed and full of joy. Merry Christmas!