Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas

  • Dec. 14, 2015
  • #8771

It’s easy to get overwhelmed preparing for Christmas, until we remember Jesus’ birth, the real reason for our celebration.

Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome to the Christmas season.

Actually, if you’re like Ken and me, you probably got in the spirit awhile back, but Christmas week is coming up soon; the time we celebrate, the time we set aside to thank God for the gift of His Son, Jesus.  But isn’t it interesting, isn’t it curious that in all our efforts to celebrate, we still can lose focus.  Like the other week when my husband, Ken was hanging our Christmas lights on the front eves of our house.  Every year he tries to do something, anything to make it easier.  Three years ago Ken decided to get those special lights, you know, where they all don’t go out if one goes out? Two years ago he got frustrated with trying to untangle all the wires, so he organized a special shelf in our garage where he could lay out all the strands without them getting messed up.  And then last year, he screwed hooks on the underside of our eaves so he could hang the lights more easily.  

You’d think after all this, it would be a cinch.  But not so!  Last week, for some reason, there wasn’t enough wire to reach across the front of the house. There was last year, and Ken had carefully put it away so it would be easier to hang this year, but for reasons that cannot be explained, there wasn’t enough wire.  And Ken got so bummed, so bent out of shape! It almost ruined his mood for the rest of the afternoon, until we both stopped. We just had to stop, take a deep breath and remembered the big picture. Why were we even hanging lights in the first place? Hanging lights is supposed to help us celebrate the birth of Jesus; it’s to help us shine the light, not to get sidetracked and become exasperated in the details.  And I have a feeling that my husband Ken is not the only one. All of us can lose our focus on why we do Christmas. It’s a lot like this poem, just listen:

“If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator. 
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband. Love is kind, though harried and tired. Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way. Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who cannot.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving of the gift of love will endure.”*

Wow! What a thoughtful piece of prose there, and I want to say a special thanks to Sharon Jaynes who wrote it. In fact, visit my radio page today to download it and print out a copy, maybe include it when you mail your Christmas cards. (Or tape it to the ladder when your husband goes to hang the Christmas lights). Whatever, it’s good to have as a reminder to stay focused. Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus, especially as we celebrate his wonderful birth.

*1 Corinthians 13 Christmas Style © Sharon Jaynes

© Joni and Friends

 

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