“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” 1 Timothy 1: 15 KJV
The season of Christmas is here! Truly my favorite time of year! Hallmark Christmas movies, Christmas trees and lights, the music, the cookies- there isn’t a single part of it I don’t love. There is a certain magic in the air. An enhanced sense of the world outside of myself. The wonder and mystery. Believe, or Don’t believe- that is the question. The celebration of a baby who came to save the world.
Tradition was the name of the game in my family. Every Christmas Eve that I spent with my Grandma, Santa would come to make a delivery before bedtime. I can’t remember what the gifts were, but I remember that jolly elf peeking in her picture window before making his delivery. The entire family gathering together on Christmas Day. Seeing my Dad for a few hours. Amazing food. And stories. My Mom, Grandma and Aunt sharing memories around the table. And when we were at home? Laying in bed at night, listening for elves and wondering if it was really my parents. Hoping it snowed, but not enough to keep us from traveling. The presents! Of course.
And now, with a family of my own, it’s my job to create those memories. And suddenly, Christmas doesn’t seem quite so magical. Priorities have to be set. A budget adhered to. And the big question? What do I really want my kids to take away from this season?
Really, the answer is easy. Christmas is all about a gift. God sent his son to us. For a select amount of time, He came to Earth as a man taking on flesh so we could know Him. Have a relationship with Him. Accept His gift of salvation. I think if God was setting the Christmas priority for me, He would want me to give His gift away. Not just during the season of Christmas, but all year long. Christmas gives us an amazing opportunity to highlight giving. To plant some seeds. To show Gods love. But, if this is the only time Christians show up to give, we stand the chance of losing a bountiful harvest for Christ. The attitude of being the hands and feet of Christ should be with us, regardless of the time of year, or even circumstances we are facing. It should be something we wake up with every single day.
Even worse, if we don’t show up. If we get too caught up in our traditions and agendas to see the opportunity for service. To take some time to speak a word of encouragement to the frazzeled checker taking care of ringing up our order. To drop a few coins in the bucket AND acknowledge the individual ringing the bell. For me, it is slowing down enough to realize there are people surrounding me everywhere I go. People that need hope and encouragement.
I pray that if I set any traditions for my family, it would be an attitude of giving. When they remember Christmas, they remember the opportunity to bless others in the name of Christ. I pray that I don’t miss a single chance to reach out to the people who surround me today.