Have you made a Christmas list? I’m not talking about a list of the gifts you hope you receive or even the gifts you intend to buy for others.
No, I’m talking about your Christmas “to-do” list. Maybe it looks something like this:
And the list could go on and on… Wow!
That’s a lot of stuff – and a lot of stress – for a holiday meant to celebrate the coming of the Prince of Peace.
Monday, I began a series on having a “less stress Christmas.” The goal? To keep Christ the center of Christmas while enjoying the holidays with family and friends.
So, what can we do differently? Today, let’s go back to the first Christmas to discover the priorities of those who personally experienced the arrival of the long-awaited Messiah.
- Shared Jesus (Luke 2:8-18) – A group of lowly shepherds in the fields around Bethlehem received an angelic announcement that the Savior had been born. After a late-night visit to the stable to see the miracle, they couldn’t keep the news to themselves. Scripture says, “they spread the word concerning the child.” They told everyone who would listen and “all who heard it were amazed.”
- Worshiped Jesus (Matthew 2:10-12) – Magi from the east had seen the star and traveled a great distance to find the One who had “been born king of the Jews.” These important men put their lives on hold to seek the Savior. When they found Him, they were “overjoyed” and “bowed down and worshiped Him.”
- Pondered Jesus (Luke 2:18-20) – Scripture tells us that Jesus’ mother Mary “treasured up” all the things she heard and saw and “pondered them in her heart.” Mary deeply contemplated everything God was doing. She meditated on it and considered what it all meant. It was constantly on her heart and mind.
The ones who were there that first Christmas shared, worshiped and pondered Jesus. He was their focus and their activity revolved around Him.
So how are we doing? It’s so easy to allow our focus to shift from Jesus and onto the many other things that vie for our attention during the Christmas season. Many of these things that compete for our time and thoughts are good things too. But too much of the “good” can push out the “best.”
We just have to find a proper balance. When we make Jesus the priority, then the other things will take their proper place. There will still be time for cookies, shopping, and tree trimming. And some things that seemed so important before may simply fall away and not even be missed.
Want to experience the true joy of Christmas? Share Jesus with others. Worship the King of kings with all that you are. And ponder the Savior and His love for you.
What have you allowed to become a priority this Christmas season at Jesus’ expense? What can you do differently?