How are you going to celebrate?
As I was beginning to get out the holiday decorations this year, it occurred to me that I often spend days in preparation for Christmas, without ever stopping to ask the Lord how he would like me to celebrate his birthday.
Al and I both enjoy the beautiful music of the season. It is a very appropriate way to celebrate — like singing “Happy Birthday” for instance. One thought was that I could sing — well, maybe quietly around other people — and in this way praise God for all that he has done for me.
A second idea was that I could “spread joy around” by giving away smiles to people. Whoa! That seemed to put a whole new slant on things, putting the focus where it should be — on Christ.
I sent out the question, “How are you going to celebrate Jesus’ birthday this year?” via email to find out what other people were going to do. Here are some of their responses:
“We plan to celebrate Jesus’ birth by being His servants. ... Helping and serving others who have fallen upon difficult times. By sharing Jesus Christ and not missing any opportunities that Jesus puts before us to be His servants. We will be bold in wishing those we meet ... Merry CHRISTmas! Jesus is the reason for the season.” — Joyce
“Well to answer your question I hope to celebrate Jesus’ birthday every single day by remembering what He did for me. I want to be mindful each day, so I keep my focus on Him and His great love for me. I pray that my life can so reflect His love, that others desire to know Him as their Lord and Savior and not just a name they hear at Christmas... Christmas is not about the presents but His Presence.” — Jan
“This is how our Christmas season most probably will be spent. We hope to attend as many Christmas concerts and programs as possible. … A few years ago our family agreed to forgo exchanging presents so we just get together for fellowship, food and music. We’re amazed at the number of talented people within our family. Of course, the individual families give gifts within their family circle — and that’s as it should be, but the emphasis within the larger family unit is upon visiting, hugging and singing. ... Of course, the most important and meaningful part will be participating at one of the masses. There is a midnight mass, a children’s mass and four more on Christmas Day. … We know you will have a beautiful Christmas season, enjoying the true and everlasting meaning.” — Rita.
“By being extra grateful, thankful and awed by the mystery of salvation and God’s ultimate gift of his son through whom we can be transformed into the people He desires us to be. Parties are way down the list. Fellowship, the study of His word, loving family, giving to others and renewing our minds should be some of the priorities this season — not following the ways of the world.” — Art
I hope this will give you some ideas and encouragement as you begin putting together your Christmas “to do” list. If you haven’t yet met the Christ whose birthday we celebrate, consider putting that at the top of your list.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” — 1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV
Judy Lowery lives in Springville. The Good News column appears regularly in the Porterville Recorder. You can read more at Judy’s blog, goodnewswithjudy.blogspot.com.