In the last post I argued that Christmas is the celebration of salvation through reconciliation. Here are three ways to celebrate God’s gift of Jesus this Christmas based on the examples of the Shepherds and Mary.
Seek Jesus Urgently
And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. Luke 2:16
“With haste” means to hurry. If you haven’t accepted Christ’s gift of salvation I encourage you to seek Jesus urgently while there is still time.
I’ve talked to a lot of people with a relaxed attitude about exploring faith. College students say I will decide when I graduate, BUT if Jesus really is the only way to be saved than there is NOTHING more important! Think of the years you are wasting and the joy you are missing out on!
Through the prophet Jeremiah God gives an amazing promise, You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
If you are genuinely seeking truth with all your heart, it’s only a matter of time if you find him. The next thing the Shepherds did was to…
Share Jesus Simply
And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. Luke 2:17-18
We often overcomplicate sharing our faith. We don’t share because we don’t think we’re worthy, but of all the people God could have chosen to share the news he chose everyday ordinary shepherds!
To share Jesus you don’t have to be a social media influencer or have a lot of “followers.” Just share what you’ve experienced.
Those who heard their report were amazed, but we don’t actually know if those people ended but believing. Their joy was not in the results.
I believe that everyone is a natural evangelist about what they are most excited about. I’m passionate about surfing, so I naturally talk about it a lot! The same is true for you, what you’re passionate about you talk about.
One of the best ways to take your spiritual temperature is to ask yourself, how much am I talking my my faith?
Before you introverts get discouraged, I have something for you too. This time it’s Mary who gives us a great example. Her response to the amazing events was to…
Savor Jesus Joyfully
But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. Luke 2:19
She had a lot to take in! Holding a new born baby is already such an amazing experience, imagining the potential of that precious gift.
But can you imagine how overwhelming it must have been for Mary to look at Jesus with what she knew about Him? And yes the answer to the question “Mary did you know?” is YES, she knew, Gabriel told her!
As Mary treasured the news about Jesus, we too can marinate on the message of Jesus this Christmas.
Treasured literally means “to keep in mind.” It means to keep something alive or to savor it.
When COVID hit I watched the Free Yale “Happiness Class” videos which has some good points and some that don’t fit with scriptures, BUT interestingly one of the key “happiness practices” was savoring what you are grateful for.
This Christmas if you do nothing else take some time to savor the Savior!
For many the story of Christ’s birth has become so familiar it has lost a bit of its wonder. But taking some unhurried to ponder and think deeply about the implications will help you enjoy the season more deeply.
Read the Christmas story slowly, watch “The Nativity Story” movie, or meditate on all the implications of the incarnation.
Savoring Jesus can look a lot of different ways, sometimes it’s sitting silently other times it’s singing or shouting like the shepherd’s…
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:20
Like the angels, they couldn’t contain their joy! If God fills you with joy this Christmas don’t be afraid to belt out your favorite carol about Christ.
Which of these three responses to Christmas do you need to focus on?