Yep, it’s unleashed! It started back in early October with a slow trickle, and now the flood gates are wide open. Christmas is here! Stores are transformed into holiday wonderlands, advertisers are putting on the full-court press, charities are strategically placed, neighborhoods are evolving into festive, and sometimes obnoxious, displays of luminous celebrations complete with flashing lights and animatronics, and TV special are on every channel… “Yes, Charlie Brown, it is Christmas!”
Even the internet is decorated with creative artwork and fun holiday programs where you and your friends can put your faces on dancing elves. Social media sights are filled with posts and pictures of our ‘friends’ play-by-plays of their Christmas preparations…“Tree up,” “House decorated,” “Lights up,” (I have not even got the Christmas decoration down from the attic!) “Christmas cookies all baked,” “Family Christmas photo taken,” “Christmas shopping done!,” (are you kidding!!…I have not even thought about gifts…can this many people be done and I have not even started? I think I’m having a panic attack. Okay Mike, just breath. Wait! What’s the date anyway? Oh phew, it’s still November! We have plenty of time.)
Yet the reality is this time of year can bring on some intense anxiety; decorating, shopping, awkward time with family, and those interesting expectations where we desire that mysterious Christmas spirit of wonder, love, connection and peace. Yes, it’s Christmas, so…what? What is this time of year supposed to be? Sure we could give the standard quick answer and say the name “Jesus,” and we would be absolutely correct, but what does that mean? It’s CHRISTmas, so let’s center are thoughts on Jesus like those of the Biblical Christmas story. Like the prophet Isaiah who was given a miraculous prophesy of some important qualities of Jesus.
Isaiah 9:6-7 For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor who knows us and understands us (see Psalm 139 and Hebrews 4:14-16, no really go and read those passages…for Jesus gets you, He grasps your issues, He comprehends your complexities, He knows the depths of your soul, and still loves you!! I know I am so thankful of that!!!) Jesus is our Mighty God and Everlasting Father. Sure, we could study much on the meaning of these titles, yet it’s comforting to know that Jesus is more than just a baby in a manger…He is our Creator.
Colossians 1:15-17 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Jesus is the great ‘holder-togetherer-of-everything.’ Even you! If you let Him, if you know Him, if you choose to continue to live life His way, to step onto His path of life…the one laid out in the Bible. Yes it takes effort to learn, and trial and error to make His way our way, but the fruit of this discipline is great.
Hebrews 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
This is where Jesus becomes that Prince of Peace for us.
It’s Christmas, so look to Jesus, spend time reading about Him. Maybe take a moment and read the first few chapters of each of the Gospels in the Bible; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (if you have time read more). Be like those shepherds who heard of Jesus and took action to investigate…they took the effort to know more and personally experience this One the angels had proclaimed. They did and it was life changing. For you see, every encounter with Jesus has the potential to shape us and change us to be the people God created us to be. Encountering Jesus will change your Christmas. Sure, many of the elements will be the same, but our attitude will be different. Why not give it a try. It’s Christmas, so worship Jesus. I know that’s what I’m seeking to do even more this Christmas.
Seeking to Worship Jesus more with you this Christmas Season,