The traditional Christmas season is upon us and once again, I’m thanking God for the pretty lights that brighten up the dark nights. They are a gentle reminder to me of how the light of Christ — hopefully shining through my cracks —- will be a blessing to those in my midst, too.
And yet, as much as I want to shine bright for the Lord’s purposes to prevail in my relationships, especially within my family, it seems that I often do a better job at snuffing it out during this time of year. I get caught up in the busyness of the holiday — Christmas cookies and cards, after that family picture it captured, of course; caroling and church events, shopping for gifts and wrapping them in the wee hours of the night. Even though I might like each one of these endeavors, the pressure to get it all done can easily steal my Christmas joy…and snuff out my light.
Do you struggle in this way, too? As your head hits the pillow, do you feel a twinge of regret over the harsh words you spoke to your daughter and the bitterness of your spirit that overflowed onto the check out girl in the over-crowded department store?
It seems that in our mission to celebrate Christmas, we all to easily lose perspective on who we are celebrating after all.
As followers of Christ, shouldn’t our Christmas attention be on the celebration of Jesus’ birth and inviting holiness into the holiday?
So how is it that we so easily miss the “holy” in holiday — and the gentle reminder to be holy, which means to be set apart? Instead, we’re transformed into maniacs conquering a “to do” list of holiday responsibilities. And what is this teaching our daughters about their holiness and God’s?
Through Christ’s birth, God’s holiness breached the heavens and touched the earth, and in His mercy, holiness was bestowed on each one of us who declare Him Lord.
Without Christ as our Savior, God only sees our sin. But when Christ’s blood is poured out for our sin, we are washed clean. God now sees us through the sacrifice of His Son (Hebrews 10:10). We become holy because the Savior covers us, making us “holy and blameless in his sight.” (Ephesians 1:4)
So what does it look like to invite holiness into our Christmas holiday?
How about these simple steps:
Humble yourself before God by acknowledging that He is a Holy God. Confess the times you’ve ignored His holiness and ask the Lord to give you a new vision for celebrating a holy Christmas.
O… Open the Word Together
Find out what God’s says about holiness by looking up “holiness” in your Bible and write down what you learn! Then share it with your daughter over some Christmas cookies!
L Look at Life Differently
Grab a piece of paper and pen to jot down all the things you do to celebrate the holiday season. Categorize your list by food (as in baking or must have holiday meals), decorations (inside and out), activities (such as card writing and photographs), events (church, non-for-profit, community) and parties (family, friends, work). Put a star by everything that brings pleasure. Put a cross by everything that spreads the Gospel. Put an x by everything that seems unnecessary or emotionally/physically draining. Make a plan to eliminate and focus, and bring your daughter into the process, too!
Y Yield to His Ways
Prayerfully seek the Lord concerning which holiday traditions need to be laid to rest in order to make space for holy living. Be ready to yield to His ways, and not assume you know best. It may simply mean putting up less decorations so that a few more hours can be dedicated to rest and practicing ways to share the love our Savior with our family, friends, and strangers, alike.
Friends, the reality is that without the birth of Christ, there would be no holy in the Christmas holiday.
I pray that instead of caving into the Christmas chaos, we all will take time to slow down and experience our Savior in a holy new way.