“I hate, I despise your feast days, and I do not savor your sacred assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs, For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments. But let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Amos 5:21-24
So this may not be the most uplifting text of Scripture, but in reading it I felt a personal warning to my own heart about the upcoming “feast” of Christmas. There are so many traditions and fun things I have added to the celebration of Jesus’s birthday that sometimes the very purpose FOR Christmas is crowded out by the busyness OF Christmas. I say that “Jesus is the reason for the season” but then I live as if He is one of many reasons and is quickly moving down the list in light of more “pressing issues” like buying presents and baking cookies. I know in my head that it’s all about the birth of my Savior, but I’m amazed how quickly my heart clings to plans, preparations and activities…pursuing joy in them as if they can actually satisfy my heart.
The truths in the Word of God call me to come and worship Christ, the King. Yet instead of worshipping Him, I am ignoring Him…all the while convincing myself it’s because I am preparing for His “big day.” Jesus wants my heart more than He wants a fancy feast. Jesus wants my adoration more than Christmas carols sung on tune but without thought. Jesus wants my devotion and obedience more than He wants a life consumed with the festivities of one day. Jesus wants all of me to be wrapped up in all that He is, no matter how many other presents I might wrap throughout the month.
Jesus did not come to earth so we could celebrate Christmas. He came to earth so that He could be crucified and conquer the grave. He came to earth to redeem us and make us right before God so we could be adopted into His family, bearing His name and living for His glory. THAT is what makes celebrating Christmas one of the highlights of our year. THAT is why we should decorate with enthusiasm, sing with gusto and give with generosity. Jesus didn’t just come to visit us, like many relatives do at the holidays. He came to live among us so that He could ultimately live in us: Emmanuel, God with us!
May we not lose sight of this glorious truth and may this Christmas be the sweetest of all as we take every opportunity to celebrate all that God has accomplished for us in His Son Jesus!
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15
As your Mom & Dad will be one of those many visitors visiting you this Christmas, I was encouraged to be reminded of the VISIT that matters most! Thank you for helping us to prioritize the real REASON for the season, our relationship with Jesus Christ! See you soon should the Lord not come as SOON as we pray He will!
Thanks, Dad…for your encouragement and for coming for Christmas, too! 😉 And, I agree…come Lord Jesus!
Thanks Kristin, your message is exactly what I was needing to hear. This year, instead of all the busyness of our typical Christmas preparations, it is the very opposite. Due to the pandemic we are still in isolation (9 months now) and will not be with our family nor friends. It’s been difficult to say the least. I have been deeply saddened by the loss of time with our family and now being alone at Christmas makes that loss even more potent. But even though I am not busy this year, nothing to prepare, your message still speaks volumes to me. Christmas really has nothing to do with shopping, baking, decorating. And not even my family. It’s all about Christ. Nothing else. He came to save that which was lost. I am no longer lost, I am saved by the shed blood of Christ on the cross. This is what I will try to focus on. I will rejoice in Christ, and my salvation. Nothing else matters in the end. Thank you Kristin for your words of encouragement. May God bless you and your family.
Franny, I really appreciated what you shared. Part of me wondered if my own thoughts on Christmas might not encourage everyone as some, like you, are having a “quiet” Christmas due to Covid. But you are so right…even though our outward lives may not be busy…our hearts and minds can still forget and be distracted. I’m sorry that you are still in isolation…but I praise the Lord for His saving grace in your life…and the fact that one day there will never be isolation again…we will be worshipping around the Throne together! “Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.” 2 Thess. 3:5 Merry Christmas!!!
Thanks for your reply Kristin. I really didn’t expect one; with all that you have to do in your life I can’t imagine where you would find time to respond to your subscribers. I am deeply touched by your sweet kindness.
I read all your posts. In fact, I print them out and keep in a folder so that they never get lost.
Pray you and your family have a wonderful celebration this Christmas. May God bless you and your family.
Your comment encouraged my own heart…so, it was natural to want to reply and thank you! Plus, I also had today off of work…so, I was able to reply quickly 😉 Have a wonderful week walking with Jesus!
Indeed! And you as well.
It is obvious that His birthday wasn’t such a big deal. It was a very humble, quiet entry into the world. But His death for our sins was a big enough deal to have the veil in the temple torn, earthquakes, darkness in the middle of the day and so much more! You are so right. THAT is the main event!
Joy, I love how you worded that and reminded us what happened at His death! What a mighty Savior we serve! Love you!