We all have our favorite Christmas TRADITIONS–the people, meals, songs, and lights…and especially the VIBE that reverberates around them. AND THAT’S FANTASTIC! It creates a wondrous backdrop and fertile environment to celebrate the birth of Christ. But as you can already feel by now, a CAUTION is coming.
Before addressing that caution, let’s establish the primary goals of every Christian at Christmas:
To give God our heart. To go beyond the season’s materialistic underpinnings. To celebrate the birth of Jesus who came to save us and will come again.
In the end, it’s all about our heart. And how we live out our man-made Christmas traditions determines how close our heart is to God.
“GOOD TRADITIONS” open our heart to God.
“BAD TRADITIONS” divert our attention away from the purpose of Christmas—to adore, in astonishment, Christ the Lord.
Every tradition—remember the people and meals and songs and lights–does not in and of itself have to be directly related to worshipping Christ. But they ALL should, in some way, steer our heart toward worshipping Christ and sharing his GOOD NEWS with others.
How do we do that? Here are FIVE QUESTIONS I ask myself to keep me on the right track:
DOES THE TRADITION:
- Focus on me and my needs more than others?
- Increase my stress, or increase my joy in God?
- Get me thanking God who gives us all things?
- Spread Christ’s love and joy to unbelievers?
- Lead me to or away from serving others?
Christmas is a battle for our heart, especially during this 2020 COVID CHRISTMAS.
We need to be conscious of WHY we need a SAVIOR. We need to relish the magnificent gift of his birth. And we need to be thankful for being plucked from darkness and sent to live in the LIGHT that God sent on Christmas Day.
I ask God to open the eyes of my heart to his love and grace and glory, even inside the traditions and worldly manifestations of Christmas.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Do you have your Christmas traditions, and the vibe that surrounds them, under control this Christmas? Do they focus you on Christ?
“To us a child is born, to us a son is given.” Isaiah 9:6