Christmas might be the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, but it can also be the most hectic. We all know that Jesus is the reason for the season, as they say, but it’s all too easy to fly through the season hardly thinking of Him at all. Between shopping for gifts, attending parties, and making travel arrangements, finding time to pause with your family and reflect on the Incarnation of Christ can seem impossible.
Incorporating Jesus into your family’s Christmas rhythm doesn’t have to be complicated and time-consuming, though. It can be simple and even quite fun. You only need a few minutes a day and little bit of persistence. Here are a few ideas that our family has implemented over the years to help us focus on Jesus:
As a kid growing up in church, I remember being warned about meditation. Meditation was a weird and scary habit, something practiced by Hollywood actors who sat in a lotus position while reciting ancient Hindu mantras. Perhaps because of the fear that meditation is too closely connected to Eastern religion, I’ve rarely heard of a pastor encouraging his congregation to meditate.
The Bible does encourage God’s people to meditate on His Word, though.
When I was young, the words of 1 Thessalonians 5:17 confused me. “Pray without ceasing,” Paul says. How exactly can a person do that? After all, I have things to do! Am I supposed to simply stay in my closet all day and pray, neglecting my family, my job, and my friends?
(Published in the Bryan/College Station Eagle in April 2021)
I have a confession to make: I’ve always thought the apostle Thomas gets a bad rap. In the aftermath of Jesus’ resurrection, Thomas somehow missed one meeting, where Jesus miraculously appeared to his disciples behind a locked door (John 20:19-23). The Lord showed them all the wounds in His hands and side as proof that He really had risen from the dead. The Bible doesn’t tell us why Thomas wasn’t there. Maybe he was out buying fish sandwiches for the rest of the crew. Maybe he just needed some alone time after a really terrible week.