Do you ever feel as if you’ve lost control of Christmas? Has shopping, decorating, wrapping, cooking, and cleaning overwhelmed you? We can easily allow the busyness of the season to push the reason we celebrate to the background.
A few weeks ago, in preparation to speak at a women’s event on a “less stress Christmas,” I went back to the account of that first one. Those chapters in Matthew and Luke are so familiar I can practically recite them. But this time through God showed me something in a new way.
God directed my attention to the way Mary, the shepherds, and the Magi responded to the birth of Jesus. Three responses to the coming of our Savior that transcend time and culture. Three responses that should be the focus of our Christmas celebrations today.
1. Share Jesus (Like the Shepherds in Luke 2:8-18) – the shepherds “spread the word” about all they had seen and heard. They told others about the birth of the long-awaited Messiah. What about us? Do we share Jesus at Christmas? Here are a few ways we can share the Savior with friends and family.
- Invite them to church and other Christmas events.
- Make the most of every opportunity – Christmas cards (if you send them!), parties, gifts, family gatherings.
- Tell people what God has done in your life.
2. Worship Jesus (Like the Magi in Matthew 2:10-12) – The kings from the orient traveled a long way to joyfully worship the baby King. We can purposefully build times of worship into our Christmas activities and celebrations. Here’s a few ways.
- Attend a Christmas Eve service
- Read the biblical story of Christmas with your family.
- Sing faith-based Christmas songs when you go caroling.
3. Ponder Jesus (Like Mary in Luke 2:18-20) “Ponder” means “to throw together; to put one thing together with another in considering circumstances.” Mary collected everything she had seen and heard together in her mind, thought about them deeply, and held onto them – the angel’s visit, the shepherds, the magi, and more. We can also “ponder” Jesus at Christmas. For instance, we can spend time contemplating why He came.
- To provide our ransom (Matthew 20:28).
- To give us abundant life (John 10:10)
- To die on a cross for our eternal salvation (Philippians 2:8)
I challenge you to do things a little differently this Christmas. Cut back on some of the more time-consuming activities and instead focus on the three things that happened that first Christmas. Share Jesus. Worship Jesus. Ponder Jesus.
What will you cut back on? What will you refocus on this year?