Keeping Faith in the Reason for the Season

Christmas can so easily become one big swirl of commercialism and hype. I know that we all fall into the trap of the lists of gifts, parties, deadlines, baking, etc becoming THE focus. In fact, while I am typing right now, I am also feverishly trying to work on a knit scarf for my oldest son. I love the opportunity to give this time of year. As much as I love the hustle and bustle of the season, if I am not purposeful I can lose vision for what this season is really about – Jesus. I have found that even with my best intentions, it is so easy to slip into making Christmas about me and those I love instead of about Him.

For a child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us;

And the government will rest on His shoulders;

And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,

On the throne of David and over his kingdom,

To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness

From then on and forevermore.

The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

Isaiah 9:6-7 NASB

One of my favorite ways to anchor my heart (and my family’s hearts as well) during Christmas is to center our personal and family devotion times around Advent. We have done different Bible study plans over the past several years – my favorite being a mix of focusing on the gift of His first coming and the promise of His second coming. From the powerful prophesies in the Old Testament to the narratives of Jesus’ life in the Gospels, I am purposefully diving in head first and immersing myself in the fact that He came and is coming again! Regardless of what is going on in my life, when this is my focus I am filled with real hope. God Himself took on flesh to draw near me!

Being leaders of a House of Prayer that leads prayer meetings packed with worship times and being worship leaders in various settings as well, our family devotion times seem to always have a singing worship portion. One of my favorite things is to incorporate the Christmas hymns into our worship time. Songs that we may almost tune out when they play in the local stores while we shop in December, suddenly come alive when we turn them into a time of worship and adoration.

O come all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant,

O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.

Come and behold Him, Born the King of angels;

O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

O come, let us adore Him,

Christ the Lord!

Using the Christmas songs about Jesus intermingled with our regular worship choruses seems to make the birth of Jesus that much more real to our hearts as we sing it out!

O come to us, abide with us,

O Lord Immanuel.

We don’t do Santa in our house. With small children, we want them to know that if we tell them Jesus is real that they can put their faith fully in Him and not mix Him up with the make believe. In spending purposeful time talking, reading, and singing about Jesus’ coming, I can see my kids growing in their faith and becoming more and more sure that He is coming again. I love to see Christmas connected to worship in their hearts, instead of connected to getting more stuff.

Christ is the Lord!

O praise His name forever!

His power and glory evermore proclaim!

His power and glory evermore proclaim!

Regardless of your situation this Christmas, you can take this time to worship Him and focus on His gift of coming to us. In the midst of possible heartache, lack, or even abundance – we all can find common ground in celebrating Christ at Christmas as our primary focus. In times of great joy and great pain, He is our Anchor. Would you join me in this tradition that doesn’t have to change based on our circumstances or seasons of life?

How do you keep your heart anchored in the Reason for the season? Have you used the Christmas hymns in your worship times?

2 Responses to Keeping Faith in the Reason for the Season
  1. Dawn
    December 13, 2012 | 3:31 am

    When our daughter was smaller, there was one year in particular where we sang Hymns on the couch together during our Advent devotions. I think it is one of all of our favorite memories. I really enjoy the various Advent devotions and activities available to help keep the awe and wonder of the season a focus. It also is a spiritual battle keeping the distractions of the season from robbing us of the simplicity and focus of the message, as you speak so well to here.

    • Charis
      December 14, 2012 | 1:25 pm

      that is awesome dawn. yeah, i have a feeling this is going to be a good memory that we are making with our boys. really, i do it so much for myself personally, since i think as an adult i have a much easier time being distracted by everything else at this time of year, good and bad, than the kids do. have a merry christmas!