Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Celebrate Jesus

This week I'm running crazy with "busyness"... Christmas activities grouped with regular life in general. My schedule and "to do" list is full of "this, that, and other stuff" keeping me on the go.

I love the Christmas season, but do get tired each year of how easy it is to get distracted by worldly Christmas traditions and distracted from why we celebrate Christmas to begin with. The enemy can't pull me away from my Savior, but he does what he can to distract me from Him.

I am constantly being reminded by my BFF, Jesus, that it's His Birthday we're celebrating, and as long as I keep Him at the center of my activities, that's all that matters. I like to do all the fun Christmas stuff (decorating, shopping, baking, sending Christmas greeting cards... etc), but as soon as it becomes overwhelming, stressful and a burden, I know I'm getting off track. When that happens, I hear Jesus whispering to my heart... "don’t get caught up in celebrating the celebration." and the Holy Spirit reminds me of the story of Martha and Mary (one of my many favorites Bible stories!). Martha was distracted by preparing for the celebration, while Mary was focused on who the celebration was for.

Isn't that what a lot of us end up doing?... being like Martha, getting caught up in preparing for the celebration? Christ wants us to slow down and give Him time... listen to His voice... experience His presence... celebrating Him.
I fall into the "Martha" trap when I don't stay focused! It's like planning a huge extravagant Birthday party for a friend and forgetting to invite them. Or worse, Inviting them, and then completely ignoring them, making the celebration all about the decorations, the food, how well it was planned, etc. It’s o.k. to have fun in decorating, planning the party, all that, but it's not o.k. to lose focus on who it's for or why the celebration is being done.

As I am riding on my whirlwind of a week, I will focus on being "focused" on Jesus and NOT allowing myself to get distracted (Hebrews 12:2). There's a lot of great things about Christmas, but I will remember:

The GREATEST part of Christmas is the first 6 letters- C_H_R_I_S_T

Prayer: Lord, Thank you that YOU are the best gift of Christmas... It isn't about the decorations or the "presents" , but about celebrating you and being in your "presence". Help me to Love and Give to my friends, family and strangers, the way you have loved and given to all. Help me stay focused on the "reason for the season"; keep me protected against the enemy's schemes to distract me from you. Fill me completely with the fruit of your Spirit, and empty me of all things that are not pleasing to you. I also pray this for any one reading this post, for my friends in Christ and my family! In YOUR precious name, Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.

For God so loved the world
he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him
shall not perish but have eternal life.

(John 3:16 NIV)

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