Christmas is coming, and we see “Wise men still seek Him” on bumper stickers, magnets and tree ornaments. Wisdom gets lost in the hustle of December. Fatigue, over-scheduling and unrealistic goals cause us to throw optimism out the door. Let us inquire, probe and investigate (Deuteronomy 13:14) with hearts keeping Christ in Christmas! Seeking ways to be wise with our time takes concentrated effort for families, couples and singles alike. The psalmist tells us the Lord makes the simple wise. (Psalm 19:7) May we have the desire making a concentrated effort celebrating Christmas the right way and seek Him for wisdom!
At some point, we realize we have not cried, “Help,” to Emmanuel, God is with us. As we formulate words of prayer, God exchanges our spirit of despair for a garment of praise. (Isaiah 61:3) God hears the sighing of our heart before words are formulated in our mind. “Before they call, I will answer; while they are speaking, I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:23) May Christmas harken us to call out to God: Come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!
Being wise is easier when we keep our Bible open in the line of vision. An open Bible helps us glean wisdom, keeping priorities in order, and we will not be able to walk by without reading a verse. Let us celebrate Christmas the right way, not disregarding the One whose birthday we are to revere. Marking key Christmas scriptures with “post-it notes” or “redi-tags” for easy referencing serves as a reminder to keep Christ in Christmas. We are lifted up when we concentrate upon the King of Kings who helps us exchange a tired attitude for a rejuvenated spirit. He replaces “want-it” with contentment and helps prioritize our “to do” list providing much needed free time when we ask for help. We can use the stolen moments to center our heart upon the true meaning of Christmas, departing from the temporal and clinging to the eternal.
Passages for refocus
Christmas is the anticipatory waiting for the prophesized Messiah. The passages of Isaiah 9:6-7 and Zechariah 9:9 unfold history five to seven hundred years before Jesus’ birth.
Christmas is love coming down. Having so recently been with His Heavenly Father, Jesus’ birth whispers joy to a weary world in Luke 2:1-20.
Christmas is wise men seeking His favor and worshipping Him in spirit and truth. The texts of 1 John 5:11-12 and Romans 15:13 reveal promises of hope as we place trust in the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Consider choosing a signature Bible verse to send friends and loved ones in your Christmas card as a testimony to keeping Christ in Christmas!
A Christmas activity I enjoy is reading by Christmas tree light. Our tree ornaments bring back memories of times passed and shared. As each ornament is gently placed on a bough, scenes from yesteryear flow forth.
One reason we gift others is a reminder of the tributes given Jesus by the three Magi: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Gift others as they walk in our door! Gold was associated with Kings and can represent the precious items in our home for entertaining: china, crystal, and linen napkins, which usually rest in a cabinet unused. Let us not wait but bring them forth in our home.
Frankincense was a perfume burned for worship and guests can be greeted with the scent of candles. Welcoming others into our home where light shines is a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God (Philippians 4:18) May we bless all who enter with words of encouragement, being humble and gentle, patient and fore-bearing in love. (Ephesians 4:2)
Myrrh was costly and necessary in Biblical times for burials and source of payment. Myrrh can represent the necessities for a successful event: food and drink, welcoming smiles, and open hearts. Whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me. (Matthew 25:40)
Christmas is a time of building larger hearth fires inviting all who enter cheery warmth. Treat your family like you do your friends! Bring out the “gold,” light the “frankincense,” and supply the “myrrh.” Christmas is a special time to celebrate Jesus’ birthday keeping Christ in our Christmas activities!
We sing Silent Night on Christmas Eve holding lit tapers. Our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friend’s children open the gifts we found and wrapped in record time. We look forward to wonderful moments around the table partaking of the Christmas feast loving hands prepared. Ask God to stay and be your Guest of Honor. Let us ponder anew moments spent with kin and kindred, treasuring, and storing new memories within. May the power of the Most High overshadow you (Luke 1:35) as Christ is kept in Christmas, You invite Him to your table, and see His light by the boughs of your tree. Christmas isn’t Christmas until it happens in your heart!
Vickie Estler has a heart for encouraging families through scripture. She is a monthly speaker at Moms on a Mission at Rio Vista Community Church and writes a weekly blog at ponder365.com.