Christmas time is probably my favorite time of year. I tend to love every time of year for what it is, but if I had to pick a favorite it would have to be Christmas. There are a number of things I love about it. I love the joy of the season, the singing of carols, and the gathering of family. It is a wonderful time of year when we celebrate the coming of the Lord Jesus. Christmas can also be a terribly hectic time when we get so busy and sidetracked with all the hustle and bustle that we tend to miss what it is all about. So this year slow down now before it gets ahead of you.
As we come into December each year it is time to think of Christmas, it is the Advent Season. Celebrating the coming of Christ is such a wonderful time because we wouldn’t have Redemption if we didn’t have the Incarnation. The love of God is made manifest in our flesh in our Lord Jesus Christ. Should we celebrate the Incarnation? Absolutely we should rejoice in the coming of our Lord! Now here comes the tricky part; how do we celebrate the Incarnation in a way that truly honors the Lord? The predominant culture tells us we need to celebrate in a certain way (read “commercialization” here), which really has nothing to do with Christ and the Incarnation. Now I’m not saying these things to put anyone on a guilt trip. If you know me, you know I love some of the non-Christian aspects of the season. So, I have a few self-diagnostic questions to help me think in the right direction. I share them with you here; maybe you will find them helpful as well.
1) What do I do to keep my focus on Christ in the midst of all the distractions?
2) Does my celebration of the Incarnation of Christ depend on decorations or lack thereof?
3) Does my celebration of the Incarnation of Christ begin at 4:00AM on “Black Friday”?
4) Is Advent a time of peace and joy for me?
5) Am I a conduit of God’s grace to my friends and family?
6) Do I tend to miss the celebration because I’m distracted by details of doing a cultural Christmas where Christ is not the real focus of what is going on?
I’ve gotten to December 26th too many times having missed the blessing of sincerely celebrating the coming of the Lord Jesus. Maybe you can relate to that as well. That is something I don’t want for the flock at Faith Church. As disciples of the Lord Jesus we should celebrate His coming well. Like everything else in the Christian life, we need to take time to reflect on who we are and who the Lord is changing us to be. This is the time of year to finish well and put these things before the Lord asking for His gracious hand upon us to keep the Incarnation forefront in our hearts and minds for His glory. Praise God for loving us to such an extent that He sent His One and Only Son that we might be saved by His grace through the faith that He gives. We of all people have reason to celebrate!