rebelling against low expectations

How do you focus on Jesus at Christmas?


HAYLIE WRITES: Christmas… the most wonderful and, in my life, most busy, time of the year. In all the hectic rush of Christmas plays, chorals, caroling and other events, I often find myself forgetting to remember why we celebrate. How should we pull out of the craziness, and remember to be grateful for God’s gracious gift to us, His Son, Jesus?

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  • Hmm… interesting question. What comes to mind for me when people talk about “Jesus is the reason for the season” and such, is how to begin with, Jesus wasn’t the reason for the season. Some people say different things, but I’m fairly certain that Christmas was started as a replacement for the pagan holidays on December 25th or the week of it. So, I just wonder whether we should really make it necessary to spend christmas celebrating Jesus’ birth as if it was more special than another time. I wouldn’t have any problem if we had a christmas in summer for celebrating Jesus and a winter holiday for our snowmen and santa claus.

    Ugh my computer is dying. I’ll finish what I’m saying in a bit

    • Ok, now I’ll finish.

      So while I don’t think that celebrating Christmas as the day of Jesus north is something that we absolutely must do on that one day of the year or else, there’s certainly nothing wrong with that and I think that it’s a really good idea to try to separate our snowmen and gingerbread cookies from our celebration of Christ’s birth. I don’t think it’s a good idea to be mixing and confusing the two aspects of Christmas as we know it. For example, my mom doesn’t like nativities that represent Mary Joseph and Jesus as marshmallows, dogs, or gingerbread people, because she thinks it’s disrespectful.

      So, hopefully that made some sense and I don’t sound crazy or weird.

        • Haha, It’s okay, I knew what you meant πŸ˜‰ Thanks for your input and advice! I really appreciate it! (and it did make sense) πŸ˜‰

        • By the way, there should be an “edit” button on your comments, so that might make it a little easier to add to or change what you’ve said…just a thought, to save you some hassle and help you put all your thoughts together. πŸ™‚

    • Oh and just so you know, I meant celebrating as if the day of the year itself is more special than another time.

  • Maybe just take a moment from your busyness to think “Why do I celebrate Christmas?” and read a Bible verses about Christ’s birth like Isaiah 9:6.
    I think reading about Christ’s birth will remind you about what Christmas is about.
    I hope that helps. πŸ™‚

  • I’ve really enjoyed the book Knowing God by J. I. Packer and there’s a whole chapter on God Incarnate, the Christmas message. Instead of reading the stories of Jesus’ birth, try John chapter 1 about the miracle of Jesus being God and man. It’s a fresh perspective to the Bethlehem story.
    He also covers the true Christmas spirit. I’ve got an excerpt on my blog
    I completely understand how busy Christmas can be (I’ve spent the last week or so moving and cleaning furniture into our house) but maybe even reading all these comments will give you a chance to refresh your memory!

      • It really is a great book. The excerpt on my blog is just the last page of that chapter, so if you liked that you’d probably enjoy the rest of the chapter (and the rest of the book!). I found it exciting to rediscover the wonder of God becoming man, all pulled from John 1.

  • It’s a tough one huh? I guess we all struggle with it. This year though our church gave us a copy of Tim Chester’s ‘The One True Light’ which is an advent devotional so I’ve been using it and it’s really really good. It’s just a short bit every day going through John 1 bit by bit. It’s like an advent calendar in book form and for once I actually feel excited about Christmas, not just drained. It’s a good book and I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone πŸ™‚

  • Man I feel you there. Christmas is crazy, but it’s also a great time to focus. I guess there are a lot of ways to do that but, since it’s Christmas, try to think about the weight of the gospel — not just that he came, but that he can this way. The God who sustains the universe be came a helpless baby. What even.

  • Pray, ask God to reveal himself πŸ™‚ Read Scripture, especially the Gospels, they are awesome & SO beautiful.

    “When God draws near the soul feels it worth.”

  • Give presents to others,make the holiday about giving, not receiving. This is hard for me, but I always try to take the focus off me by serving others. Go caroling get involved with activities for kids and maybe even set one up.

  • I’ve been studying the first few chapters of Luke with my youth group, and it’s been super interesting, it goes so much deeper than just “the Christmas Story”, I would encourage you to study too, it’s given me a whole new insight on things. πŸ™‚

  • Hi, Haylie! Yay! Now there’s something about Christmas to talk about here on the Reb (as a DQ:)
    Well….there is always good advice to give, but, like I say for other DQs, the best advice I can possibly give are two suggestions. First, pray. Praying and asking the Lord to help you remember the true reason for Christmas will help tremendously. I’m serious. Praying has helped me through many problems I’ve faced before. And then second, read God’s Word. The Lord also responds to our prayers through His Word as we consult it. With this issue on Christmas, I suggest reading the beginning of Luke and Psalms. Psalms is my favorite book in the Bible because it talks so much about the Lord and His love towards us; it really is encouraging to read and study it.

    I’ve never really had that much focus on the true reason of Christmas before, but ever since October (when I surrendered my life completely to the Lord), I have been seeing a new light. Even with all the rest of the Christmas things, I can now focus more on the Lord (what a JOY!)

    So yeah, that’s the best advice I can give you, and I wish you and everyone else…MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

    • Thank you, Stephen M.! That is very helpful. It is so cool when God opens our eyes to things, and we see them with a completely fresh perspective. That’s exciting! Merry Christmas to you, too! πŸ˜€

  • Awesome DQ, Haylie! πŸ™‚ This is something I’m finding it hard to do too this year. I guess the only thing I can say is get in the Word even more than you would normally. I’m doing an Advent study right now with and I love how it criss-crosses the entire Bible showing parallels and signs pointing to Jesus in even the smallest of details. It also gives me a chance to sit down at the end of the day, escape all the stress, and just focus my heart once again on who it really is all about: Jesus! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Sam πŸ™‚ I really appreciate your advice! I think you are spot on. Wow, it’s been forever since we’ve ‘talked’! How is your life going? πŸ™‚

      • It has been a really long time! Life is good – just really crazy busy between school, work, and family so I don’t get too much time to hang out on the Reb anymore. I miss chatting with you guys. But, it’s been really cool to see a whole new bunch of people on here along with some familiar faces (err, profile pics) πŸ™‚ How have you been?

  • We (my family that is) read Luke 2 on Christmas Eve and make a cake (or cupcakes) for Jesus’ birth and celebrate the time that he came here to save us all as a man.

  • How do we focus on Jesus any day? It is a daily relationship with Jesus. We can’t just pick and choose times or locations to follow Jesus. It is an ongoing relationship that needs nurtured constantly. Remember that other people need Jesus too. Use Christmas as an opportunity to share to others who Christ is.

rebelling against low expectations

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