Christ in Christmas- Part 1
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Keeping CHRIST in Christmas- Part 1
How to keep Christ in Christmas this holiday season
By Allie Scruggs
It is that time of the year, where the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season has begun. Between the advertisements of the newest toys and latest hot ticket item, when do we have time to advertise for Christ? Between planning Christmas dinner and the daily errands that need to be run, how do we keep Christ at the center of Christmas?
I bounce back and forth with this idea throughout the year as I am picking out new gifts for my children. Do they even understand the point of Christmas and all the purpose that this day holds? One thing my family started about two years ago was an advent calendar that is printed and placed on the refrigerator with a bible verse for each day. Each night starting on December 1st up until the night of Christmas Eve our family reads a bible verse leading up to the birth of Christ and discuss it as a family. This is something short and sweet that brings the family together without completely intervening with our nightly bed routine.
This is something that out family does on the smaller scale that is a daily reminder of the meaning of Christmas. Keeping Christ at the heart of it all does not need to be something big and extravagant. All the advertisements and the social pressure of doing the big Christmas makes it feel like everything with the holidays need to be over the top, the truth is, the 10 to 15 minutes that we spend slowing down with our children and doing the advent calendar becomes their favorite part of their routine during the holidays. The kids yearn for that quality time with their parents. Which had me thinking how easy it to forget the value of time is?
What if this season, we stopped rushing around delivering presents and delivered time? Have you ever had a conversation with someone but not been fully present? Someone was confiding in you but you were engaged in your phone, multi-tasking, or planning what you needed to do later? Imagine if you fully devoted yourself to that person and were completely present with them. We have come to this belief as a society that giving presents is a sign of love. But the bible says “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) What if this year, we gave people a little more time, our undivided time, where we were engaged and non- judgmental, where we patient and gentle with our words. Imagine for the next year, how different your life would be if every person you came in contact with treated you with this kind of love and compassion? Is that not the best most inspiring way to keep Christ in Christmas? When you love others the way that God loves you, you are giving the most perfect gift.
“Keeping Christ at the heart of it all does not need to be something big and extravagant. “
Your time is valuable and it can change an entire day. Have you ever held the door for someone and they did not say thank you and you immediately, thought “are you kidding me? I took the TIME to hold the door and they didn’t even appreciate it.” It is because your TIME is valuable. Next time, instead of going through that thought process, I want you to remember this bible verse “(Luke 6:32-42) “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. .”
This year, I challenge you to give your time to those who do not always appreciate it. Hold the door for the angry man; you do not know his battles. Use kind and gentle words to the lady who called your job upset, you do not know her trials. Celebrate your coworker’s new promotion, even if you felt like it was supposed to be yours because you don’t know the mountains they have climbed. Show them God’s love by loving them the way God loves you. This is how we advertise for Christ with us all year.
Remember, yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift and that’s why we call it a present.