3 tips to help us keep Christ at the center of Christmas - Tip 1
In starting my Bible study of 1 John this morning, I was to read through the book and marked every reference to the words write, writing, written. That was the instruction but I couldn't get past 1 John 2:15-17. Here is what grabbed my heart:
Immediately, my mind went to a time when we were on vacation at the beach. Those first few mornings I couldn't wait to get up before the house and walk the beach with the Lord. I was eager to see the sunrise He would paint, praise Him and ponder His Word with Him. It was wonderful! But ... on the third day I began to notice the beautiful houses along the beach and was aware that I had to draw my attention away from them and back to the Lord. On the fourth day, I not only saw the houses but noticed they had beautiful pools, landscaping, a bench or chair for beach watching ... Oh...so many pretty details to take in. Yep, my attention was being drawn away from the Lord and to the beautiful things of the world. I am ashamed to admit it but by the fifth day, I was totally distracted. So why am I telling you this? Well, this story reminds me of how Christmas starts out being all about celebrating our Savior. We all want to keep Christ in Christmas but if you are like me, you can so easily get distracted by the desires of the flesh and eyes. More and better decorations. I mean don't they just get more beautiful each year? Oh, and what about trying to find the best ever Christmas card or chasing the sales and adding more packages under the tree. Come on now - you know you have to work to not go there - right?
Tip 1 to help me keep Christ at the center of Christmas (and life):
Remember where we are.
Remember, we are in the world and as 1 John 2:15-17 reminds us we are not to love the world or the things of the world. No matter how pretty they might be. The world is passing away. Or, as my sweet daddy used to say - "it's all going to burn". Yes, the things of this world will pass away - along with it's desires. But until then the things and desires of this world can and will distract us from keeping Christ at the center of Christmas (and life). So, let's:
- Remember where we are - the world.
- Remind ourselves and each other we are not to love this world for this world and the things of this world will pass away. (My life as a harlot - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.)
- Be alert and aware when the desires of our flesh and eyes are distracting us from Jesus.
- Determine to fix our mind and eyes on Jesus (watch for Tip 2).
What tips can you share?
*The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (1 Jn 2:15–17). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.