I read a piece from The “Desiring God” email I receive in the mornings. In there Matt Chandler, one of my all time favorite preachers, says the following:
A war will be waged again this Christmas, a battle far more pressing than whether to say “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas.” For believers, the real challenge is something entirely different. It’s a battle for our heart, our joy, and our worship.
I’m no Scrooge. I love the holiday, even some of the silly things we do that have very little to do with the birth of Jesus. I’m not the “Christmas is a pagan holiday” guy. But we have to know what we are up against this season. Almost every commercial, television special, and classic movie promises us a false reality. These things tell us that we’re going to gather as a family, group hug while we carve the ham, and end with us all laughing in pure joy. There’s a feel to this time of year, and we love the feel.
But as we start celebrating earlier and earlier, wearing Christmas sweaters in 90-degree weather, we must ask ourselves: What do we truly want from this season? What do we put our hope in that makes the season merry? What do we long to have that makes Christmas a favorite time of year? A thousand other answers subtly (or overtly) compete with this: “To us a child is born, to us a son is given” (Isaiah 9:6).
I was thinking of how my family would be celebrating Christmas. We are having many family members over for this time. How am I going to make sure that Jesus stays the centre of our season?
Let us, amongst the bustle of preparing legs of Lamb, Roast Pork, fried chicken and the rest, keep Jesus near to us every minute of the day. If you concentrate on this alone, the rest of Jesus’ love and purpose for us will not be far behind. May your Christmas be one filled with love from the Father and peace from our Saviour.