I’ve only bought one Christmas gift and we don’t even have up a tree. Yep, it’s four days until Christmas and we only have stockings and lights on the mantle, occasional Christmas music wafting and much talk from my 9 year old about wanting a gaming system. Praise God that my husband did some shopping online and picked up a stocking stuffer, but I have done almost nothing. This is not the Christmas season I planned, though it looks closer to the one that I’ve wanted for years. I have wanted to do away with a tree, most of the fattening foods we eat, and gifts that I still can’t figure out what have to do with celebrating someone else’s birthday. I wanted to give up the feverish frenzy of planning, shopping, plotting and hiding, trying to perfect a day whose traditions I question greatly. I wanted to focus on Jesus, celebrating His life that came to earth as human to save all of our lives.
My first major step toward this was writing the blog series “The 39 Days of Christmas,” where for 39 days I examined one Old Testament book each day for Jesus’ presence. Revisiting the posts this year has kept me centered on the One who gives life to this season. Tending to my mom, who has been hospitalized five and a half weeks and has had at least three near-death experiences, has kept me centered on the giver of life this season. Knowing that it was humanly impossible for my best friend’s 91-year-old grandma and her elderly aunts to escape the fire that consumed their home but not them this morning keeps me focused on the giver of life this season. Knowing that I have met insanity, depression, weariness, and frustration this season, but they have not become my friends, helps me rejoice this season about Jesus! Jesus must be the main focus. If not we will succumb to the ones whose job is to kill our joy, frown our smile, drown our spirit and muffle our praise. But Jesus gives life, preserves life and balances life. He is life (John 14:6). So the Christian has the special obligation to have Jesus as the central focus at Christmas time. No other way will do.
What are some ways that you have focused on Jesus this Christmas? What do you need to change in order to make Jesus the focus of Christmas? Please, tell me what you think.