Christmas is the time of year where we celebrate the greatest gift on earth: the birth of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ birth represents the light of the world and the Messiah coming to save us from our sins. As Christians, we sing carols and proclaim Jesus is the reason for the season. However, at times, it is easy to lose sight of the simple yet powerful significance of the holiday season. As we hustle and bustle to put up our Christmas tree and wrap our presents, the frenzy can distract us from what is truly important. Let us be more intentional about shifting our attention to focusing on what really matters.
Here are 5 meaningful parts of Christmas that we can value that don’t involve presents:
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1. Celebrate What Jesus’ Birth Means to You
Christmas is a great time to reflect on what Jesus’ birth means to you personally. Celebrate how Jesus’ birth represents light, hope, peace and the promise of salvation for all who accept Christ. Luke 2:11 states, “to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior who is the Messiah, the Lord.” During your devotional time, I invite you to write down and what specific attributes of Jesus you are grateful for.
Pause and take some time to read and reflect on the power of Jesus’ birth story. May you be renewed and encouraged by the miracle of Christ’s birth. Look for the miracles that God is orchestrating in your life that are big and small. May you reconnect and be renewed in new ways with the miraculous birth and life of Jesus celebrating Him as the mighty counselor, prince of peace, and mighty One!
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2. Spend More Time with Loved Ones
While it is nice to give and receive presents, Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect and spend more time with our loved ones. Do not allow the frenzy of the season to keep you from laughing and loving each other. The ways we connect may look different from our normal routines during this season, but we can continue to prioritize spending time with loved ones in new ways.
Have a game night, holiday Zoom gathering, or time of sharing what you are grateful for from 2020. Spending more time with loved ones can strengthen our spirit and remind us that God has blessed us with a community of support that is necessary during every season of life.
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3. Give to Those in Need
God calls us to serve the needy all year long, but Christmas is a great time where we can be intentional about giving to those who are in need. Giving financial resources, gently used clothes to Goodwill, food to soup kitchens, or making gift bags for seniors in nursing homes are a few ways that we can represent Christ’s light and love. In addition to serving in these numerous ways, giving encouragement to those who need comfort is another way to do so.
Many are grieving the loss of a loved one, feel isolated or disconnected during the holiday season. Giving and sharing encouragement, hope, and joy to someone who is struggling or needing comfort will uplift their spirits and represent the light of Christ. Today, I invite you to extend yourself and give freely to someone who is in need. Give with a joyful heart and the reassurance that you are being the hands and feet of Jesus. As we give selflessly, we reflect the Christ’s light and generous spirit. When we give during the Christmas season, it also reaffirms the faithfulness and sovereignty of God.
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4. Celebrate the Blessings of This Year
Despite the challenges and new norms that 2020 has created, the end of the year is a great time for reflection and to celebrate the triumphs and blessings of the year. In addition to celebrating the triumphs, we can also give thanks for the lessons and trials that have come. Each new challenge that we have faced provides us an opportunity to grow more dependent and surrender to God more. What can you pause and celebrate from 2020?
I am grateful to God for life, family, employment, and the gift of technology, just to name a few. When I reflect and take time to count my blessings, it leaves less room for me to complain and focus on what isn’t going right. Giving gratitude also reminds me of God’s goodness, faithfulness, and strengthens my perspective. Today, I invite you to write down every blessing and lesson that you are grateful to God for this year. Keep the list in a place where you can easily look to as a reminder of God’s presence and when you are needing encouragement. God is faithful!
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5. Spread the Love and Light of Jesus Christ
During the Christmas season, we can continue to spread the love and light of Jesus Christ to others by showing kindness, singing carols of praise, and strengthening relationships with family and friends. God is not looking for us to have the “perfect” decorations, tree, gifts, or gathering. God wants us to represent the love and light that Jesus’ birth encompasses.
Give an encouraging scripture or word to the cashier at your local grocery store. Share with your family and friends what you are grateful for about them. Share a note of gratitude to your mail carrier who is working tirelessly to deliver the holiday mail. There are many ways to spread the love and light of Christ. Jesus’ birth story represents one of hope, love, and the promise of salvation. God wants us to be the light of Christ that we sing and declare about at Christmas.
As we celebrate this Christmas season, I invite you to not allow the traditions to overshadow the true significance of Christmas. Celebrate what Jesus’ birth means to you, spend more time with loved ones, give to those in need, celebrate your blessings from 2020, and spread the love and light of Jesus Christ with others. God wants us to trade anxiety for peace and perfection for receiving God’s gift of grace. Let us continue to celebrate the greatest gift on earth: Jesus’ birth and the promise of salvation.
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Originally published Thursday, 10 December 2020.