As we prepared our hearts for Christmas during the month of December I was challenged over the effort that I put into our preparations. Not just the earthly preparations (or some would call it the commercialized preparations; the gifts, decorations and food) but also the preparation of our hearts. We sit down every day and reflect in some way the significance of Jesus’ birth. And that is a good thing but…
Why this day? Why not everyday?
The thought “Christmas should be in our hearts, everyday” comes to mind. Jesus came to save, and just like the angels proclaimed to the shepherds – Peace and good will to all mankind (refers to Luke 2:14) The Christmas carols make us think that this is a gentle, loving and kind-a fuzzy feeling thing. But it isn’t.
Jesus came to give us the freedom to make peace with God. In doing so each one of us has to come to terms with our own sinfulness and the fact that we are separated from the God of heaven and earth. But in welcoming Jesus into our hearts, as we celebrate him coming to this earth (as bound by time and space in the form of a man) we grasp at the opportunity to change our relationship with God. We are welcomed into God’s arms by receiving His Son, Jesus. It was God’s goodwill (God’s love towards us) that made this all happen.
Receiving Jesus isn’t a one day event. We must daily forsake our sins; we must daily choose to follow Jesus.
After Christmas continue with daily family devotions. Our Christmas time devotions which no doubt center on the true meaning of Christmas need to be more than an antidote for the commercialization around us. Our family devotions need to be a way of life in your heart, in your children’s heart, in your family life. Make them real; make them connected to the things that your children are facing every day. Ensure that your devotional material is leading your children to a deeper relationship with Jesus, that they are challenged to give their hearts to Jesus daily.
After Christmas continue to be concerned about the needy around you. People need food, clothing and shelter. People need friendship as they are lonely. People need Jesus. As your family digs deeper into Jesus seek the way that He wants your family to be a solution to people’s needs around you.
After Christmas continue to give. When we were preparing gifts for each other I taught my children that giving a gift is about considering the needs of another person. Gift giving is a reflection of our Love to another. We are to love one another daily. Christmas may well be a time where we are thinking more of material gifts but pick up on the spirit of giving and teach other aspects. We can give of our selves – give our time, our energy, or our talents. Encourage each other to do good towards one another and to have open eyes to see the needs of the people you meet.
As we do these things throughout the year we are showing Jesus to each other and to the world. Jesus came as a baby, that was a one off event, but it has an eternal effect. When we let the baby Jesus affect our life, we must consider His death and resurrection as well. Christmas is just the beginning of God’s plan to bring His Creation back to Himself.
Once the Christmas celebrations are over we need to continue to walk in His plan – to remind the world of the Peace and Goodwill to all mankind that God offers.
Live life with your kids!
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