If you are anything like me you are in the midst of making lists and checking them twice. Perhaps you are asking, “Have I purchased all the gifts I need to buy?”, “Are they wrapped?”, “Where did I even put the wrapping paper, I know I bought some in January?”.
Maybe you, like me, are making grocery lists for special gatherings with family and friends, and then of course, there’s the cooking, and the baking… so much to do, and so little time!
For me, I also have a sermon or two, (or three) to write. But honestly with all the Christmas hubbub that has nothing to do with Christ, I am grateful that I am forced to sit down, focus and prepare for Advent and Christmas Eve services. I have the privilege of taking time to pour over the Christmas story and let it transform me. I love it and yet (and I hate to admit this) if not for sermon preparation, I think it would be pretty easy, in our fast paced, “let’s get it all done” world for me to bypass the Christ part of Christmas, do you know what I mean?
How do you do it?
If you are struggling to keep Christ in Christmas for you and your family, here are 5 suggestions.
- Set aside a special time to read the Christmas story in Luke 1:5-56 through 2:1-20. Consider reading this account with your family and take some time to talk about it together.
- Set up a Nativity scene in your home. If you don't have a Nativity, there are ideas to help you make your own Nativity scene
- Give a gift of service to each member of your family. Jesus taught us that it is “more blessed to give that to receive.” (Acts 20:35) Giving an unexpected gift of service to members for your family is to demonstrate Christ-like love. What a about giving your spouse a back rub, running an errand for your sister or helping your mom with whatever she needs? Make it personal and watch the blessings multiply.
- Set aside a time of family devotions on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. It can be super simple. Before opening the gifts, take a few minutes to gather together as a family, say a prayer, read a few Bible verses or a Christmas story or devotional. Then take a few minutes to talk, as a family, about the true meaning of Christmas. This can become a wonderful family tradition.
- Give one very special gift from you to God. Make this gift something personal that no else needs to know about. Let it be a sacrifice. Maybe your gift to God will be to forgive someone in your life. (Don’t be surprised to discover that the gift of forgiveness is actually a gift to yourself.) Perhaps your gift will be to commit to spending more time with God. Or maybe there is something God has asked you to give up. Make this your most important gift of the season. It will certainly cost the most.
If I were to add one more….which would make it 6 Ways to Keep Christ in Christmas, it would be this…
Come to one of Amberlea’s Christmas Eve services with your family, neighbour or friend. Yes, there are meals to be made and presents to wrap but carve out the time to worship the very reason we do all this. Come and worship Christ with us, in community.
There are two services on December 24th:
6PM Family Service. This is a special service designed for families with young children. It is 45 minutes of pure joy as children experience the true meaning of Christmas with the grown ups in their lives. Even if you don’t have little ones, come and just experience the delight of Christmas through the eyes of a child.
7:30 PM Candlelight Service. This service will be reminiscent of our Sunday morning service. It will include wonderful music, a powerful message and an opportunity to worship God together in community. All are welcome. We encourage you to bring a friend, family member, neighbour or co-worker.
O, Come let us adore Him, O, Come Let us adore Him
You will be so glad you did!
This Sunday December 21st will be a very special Sunday as families take part in Bethlehem Bound. It will be a delightful, meaningful service full of surprises. You will not want to miss this! Be sure to join us at 11am. And as always be sure to invite a friend. There is no better time to invite them than today!