Keeping Christ the Center of the Holidays: Links for Encouragement

This week I have already begun to get caught up in the business of the holiday season. Making, finding, thinking, planning, creating, cooking, giving, spending…I found myself this week needing to remind myself to be diligent to keep my focus on the One who enables me to do all of this – Christ Jesus, my Lord and Savior.

I started remembering today how often I have heard others and myself make comments (and, uh-hem, excuses, perhaps?) like these at this time of year:

There is so much to do!

During the holidays my routines that keep me “in check” with the Lord just aren’t there.

It’s just for a couple of months…

I’ll try better this year to read the Word during Christmas.

I have so many trips to Walmart this week…I didn’t have time to even think upon the Lord much today.

I hate how easy it is to get sidetracked!

As I had my daughter work on her “Christmas gifts” last night, I found myself getting impatient with her. Having an agenda. Snappy. Short. Abrupt. And, just not really thinking about her at all.

What sin abounds when I start focusing on things! The unthawed turkey, the lumpy mashed potatoes, the soupy stuffing…the fake & sparse-looking Christmas tree, the imperfections of homemade gifts, the 1,000 errands to run…

But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that…grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:20-21)

Oh my, I need this reminder right now. Every day, in fact. As I saw my sin this week, I realized, I need to start these holidays off right…in grace.

Noël Piper says that God is the One Perfect Homemaker: he is the example we follow as those of us who are “homemakers” now, work to make our home. I don’t want my home during the holidays to be run and identified by my sin. I want my home to be a reflection of the perfect home that is now being prepared for me in heaven. I want to be a reflection of the perfect homemaker. “I want Jesus to be the center of my home.”

As we women go forth and celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with our families, may we hear these encouraging words from wise women who walk among us and spur us on to keep Christ the focus of our hearts and our minds during the holidays. May we stay rooted in abounding grace as we begin this holiday season!

Kathleen Nielson, 5 Aims for Holiday Family Gatherings

Noël Piper, Treasuring Christ in Our Tradition

 

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