It happened again. I had left Scripture to the last moment of the day. I grabbed my Bible and read a last minute few verses to my son. It was 10:45 p.m. and we had been driving and running errands that filled the day. He already knew most of the Christmas carols by heart, so technically he had been singing along to Scripture all day. He had also been singing tribute to Santa and Rudolph, so I’m not sure it counted. So I grabbed the Bible and read.
I’m pretty sure this isn’t what Jesus had in mind for the preparations for His annual birthday party. Doesn’t every parent want a perfect Christmas for his or her children? Don’t we all have people who really matter that we must remember? We’ve each figured out a variation of what the perfect Christmas looks like, and we all go for it. We consult our lists and check them twice, and then rewrite the items onto a new list with previously overlooked items added. Yikes! Even with pared down traditions and intentional focus, it’s a lot.
This probably isn’t what Jesus had in mind for the preparations for His annual birthday party.
In the Christmas bustle, I had left His Word under the piles of homemade soap and holidays gift bags. My holiday spirit had been waning. I needed His encouragement and direction more, but sought it less. Romans 15:4 says, “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
Hope isn’t found in fudge or Christmas stockings. It’s found in Scripture! So much is found in Scripture! Instruction, encouragement and increased faith are all the result of digging into the Bible. In Romans 10:17, Paul says, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” His Word builds faith that is unshakable, but we need to read it and listen to what we read, in a steady and constant way. We need to pursue His Word, daily, because it sustains us and feeds our faith.
Romans 11:1 defines faith. It says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Would I rather surround my family with hope, or lights and garland? Would it be better to impart assurance for what is unseen as we embark on a new calendar year, or make each family member a really, really cool stocking?
I had fallen into an submissive Christmas List stupor.
Am I the only person who has let Christmas bustle elbow out the true light unto my path? Sadly, probably not. I take full responsibility for letting my guard down. The wonderful thing is that God gives us a fresh start everyday, even the week before Christmas. Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us,
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.”
All of this busyness, all of these gifts and traditions and songs came about because of the gift that God sent. Our best response to His gift is to move these things and activities aside long enough to make time to stay in His Word and His presence. Determine this new season to dive into His guidance, promises and truth in a new and deeper way. Matthew 4:4 tells us, “Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’” May His Word be central as we celebrate His birth, God’s gift of love to us!