In this Christmas season I feel pressure to write about baby Jesus – His mother – His birth, and there is much to say and give glory to God there. However, God has more for us. Yes Jesus came, lived, ministered, died a criminal’s death and three days later triumphed over sin and the grave. He loves us. He is our redeemer. And celebrating His birth is a fun Christian tradition that our society has embraced without grasping the true gift of Jesus.
Yesterday my little-bit told me that I didn’t like Christmas, and that if she weren’t here we would hardly celebrate. She loves this season; cold air, short daylight hours, snow, Christmas decorations and presents. She is correct in that the older I am getting the less I desire the tradition of Christmas, and the more I crave Jesus. I have all I need in Him. I’d love to be able to sit around a table and just talk about what God is doing in the lives of my loved ones. That would be a fantastic gift for me.
As is always the case, God has more for us than just the tradition of celebrating Christmas. Whatever your family traditions have been I challenge you to take a fresh look at the gift of the savior. Is Jesus truly your savior? As we remember His arrival (God with us), are we overflowing with relief and joy because His arrival means life (eternal life) for us? What or who do your traditions cause you to focus on? Are you focusing on family, schedules, to do lists, food, wrapping gifts, baking sweets, decorating your homes (inside and out), or on Jesus’ great love for you just as you are? Are you going through the motions because others expect you to? Are you too busy in this season of celebration to sit quietly with God, to read His word, and to be filled by His love for you?
I pray that our family traditions will focus primarily on our relationship with our savior as we celebrate and remember His birth. Ask God what He desires of you and your family in this season. Set aside old traditions that detract from what is important and start a new tradition that will draw future generations to the manger side of the greatest gift ever given and received. Take the opportunity to tell an unchurched child about God’s son and how much Jesus loves them. Let the life and light of Christ shine through you. Help us Lord show the world who Your Son really is. Let our celebration be purely the joy of Christ. Help us to share the good news.
God has more for you. Be encouraged. Press on.