It’s mid-November, so Christmas preparations have begun in our house. It begins with assembling how many Christmas lights my husband Philip and youngest son can gather or buy for this year’s decorating. Christmas shirts that are only allowed out for this season emerge, and we joke about how many fairy lights Philip can squeeze on the tree this year. Lights also go up outside, and every year I hope and pray nobody falls off the roof while my husband and sons put the lights up.
Christmas carols begin to be played (or if our daughter is in charge of the music, something slightly resembling carols) whilst putting up the Christmas Tree, finding once again all the ornaments from when the kids were really little and me trying to convince the males in our house of some colour theme rather than having everything thrown haphazardly on the tree and around the rest of the house.
Gingerbread, lots of fruit mince pies and apple cider, light looking, celebrating with lots and lots of food, music, more lights, the annual Christmas movie marathon, and shopping galore.
It would be fair to say our family loves Christmas…a lot!
But have you ever wondered what the world would be like if Jesus had never come? What if we had never had that first Christmas?
Imagine Christmas day with no Christ in it. No stockings hung out on Christmas Eve, no trees, no carols, no wreaths, no churches or their special services to celebrate, no books in the library about Jesus, and no holiday. There is no comfort for the lonely, the dying, the seeker, no promises, no good news of the gospel, no freedom, no consolation, no hope of heaven.
It’s so easy in the midst of all the preparations and busyness to overlook and perhaps even forget just how important the event of Jesus' birth is. Jesus' birth was a gift for all, but just as the gifts under our Christmas tree need to be received and opened, we too must receive the gift of Jesus’ coming to earth for it to make a difference in our lives and for us to enjoy what that means for u fully. (Luke 2)
Today as you start to think about Christmas, family gatherings and shopping, take a moment to consider how your life and the world would be if Jesus had never come. And then consider whether His coming makes any difference to you. If so, have you stopped to thank him, and does your life reflect that? If it does, are you sharing the meaning for Christmas and its good news with anyone else?
Jesus is the reason for all the lights, food, gift-giving, celebrations, and holiday, and He came for you so that you might know Him and His love and forgiveness.
I encourage you this Christmas to open up your heart and world to Him, get to know the best Christmas gift the world has ever been given, and become more acquainted with Jesus this Christmas.
Consider visiting a church in the lead-up to and over Christmas and celebrate the reason for the season.
Put up some lights, turn up those carols, give a gift to someone, eat some fruit mince pies and gingerbread. It sometimes takes practice to learn how to celebrate and share the season with others, but Jesus is worthy of it all and loves it when we do.
"You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. "(Jeremiah 29:13)
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, And the government will rest on His shoulders, And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
"For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NLT)
Prayer: Jesus, thank you that you did come. You loved us all so much that you left heaven so we could have a relationship with you. Would you please help me remember in amongst all the busyness of the season that you are the reason for it all and to celebrate in a way that reflects just how important an event Christmas time is. In Jesus Name Amen.