As Christmas draws ever nearer, I must continually remind myself that this season’s true meaning lies not in whether my house is adequately adorned in sparkling decor, my Christmas cards have made in out the door in time, or whether my cookies received a chocolate coating or stayed plain.
In the midst of Christmas preparations and the general frenzy that often accompanies this time of year, it is so good to stop and do that which draws me back to Christ, and the true joy of this season. The Girl Talk blog did a series of posts earlier this month, called "Keys to Christmas Joy", which were helpful to me in realigning my thoughts, motives and practices for this Christmas. Their keys were:
- Contemplate the incarnation
- Consistently practice the spiritual disciplines
- Serve and give to others
- Turn every gift into an opportunity to glorify and adore God
If you haven’t already, I would recommend that you head on over to their blog and allow your vision and purpose this Christmas to be refreshed.
A few ways that our family has been blessed to be able to put these things into practice are:
Taking our children to a live nativity event at a local farm, where we were able to share with them in a very tangible way the Christmas story and the humility with which Christ came down to earth
- Using our Adorenaments to remind ourselves and our children of the names of Jesus as we decorated our tree
- Taking some extra time to get to know a couple of our neighbors and invite them to some church events
- Being able to bless some other families in need out of the abundance that God has given us
- Attending our church Christmas production, which was so focused on the mystery of the incarnation.
Once again, I am brought to the fresh realization that it was through the humble act of laying aside His rights and power, to become a helpless babe, that my Savior came to rescue me. The thought that Jesus, being very God, and very man, would stoop down to come to this earth, to live among sinful man, and ultimately bear the burden of that sin, meeting our greatest need through the Cross and the shedding of His own blood- it is a thought that I can barely wrap my mind around, and yet it is more dear to me than any.
“when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born
of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law,
so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5)