By: Caitlin York
It is without question that every December, I am asked what I want for Christmas. As the year comes to a close, we all look forward to the excitement of family time, sharing gifts with one another, and making memories. It is so easy to get wrapped up in preparing for a picture perfect holiday season, and miss the greatest gift of all. God in the flesh came to us. The King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Savior to all, was born in such a low, vulnerable, humble place. He had nothing, yet, He had everything because He had an intimate relationship with the Father.
We have access to this intimate relationship through our faith in Christ. That relationship is the reason we celebrate. When we think about what we want for Christmas, is it the new Apple device, or a new game, or new clothes, or some other product? Do you ever consider what spiritual products you are looking to receive throughout this season? I know that I get distracted with lists, events, and holiday fun. I often forget to think about what I want in my relationship with God, and what an impact it has had in my life.
Here are some practical goals to shift your focus through the Christmas season, and throughout the New Year:
- Share your faith. As you gather with others, and participate in gift giving, think about ways that you can share the gospel message with those you care about. Seek and pray for opportunities around you where God is already at work. You could share the greatest gift of the season – salvation.
- Serve others. The holidays can manifest selfish intentions. When you focus on looking the best, buying the best gifts, having the best decorations, posting the best pictures, and just being The Best – you put up barriers between yourself and others. In the same way that Christ gave his life to serving the Father, you should give your life to serving others in love.
- Show love and compassion. Not everyone has a merry and happy holiday season. For some people, the holidays are sad, lonely, depressing, or hurtful. Spread the love and joy of Christ to others – but do it in a sensitive way which meets the emotional and spiritual needs of those you come across. This could open the door for God to work in their life.
- Stay devoted. As the busy nature of the holiday comes, be intentional in your own relationship with God, and your church. This can make the difference in strengthening faith or withering faith. Don’t skip the opportunities to meet with other believers. Share the rich truths of this season with each other and sharpen one another. Wait and see the growth that comes.
Taking steps to meet these goals will shift the focus from physical to spiritual. When we have a spiritual focus, we find opportunities to bring God glory and expand the Kingdom of Heaven. That is the greatest gift of the season, and it should be exactly what we want for Christmas.