I find it interesting how two of the greatest celebrations of the Christian faith have become two of the most controversial holidays in the year.
Besides Christmas and Easter, the only other truly controversial holiday is Halloween.
The irony of this is striking.
I understand the controversy surrounding Halloween, though I choose not to engage in it, but I don’t understand the controversy around Christmas and Easter.
Oh – I understand what people say, I just don’t understand why they say it.
If Christians truly have a heart to celebrate Jesus, they’ll celebrate Him no matter the date on the calendar. It just so happens that most of the world choose to celebrate Christmas on December 25th and Easter in the spring.
While some may argue that Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th, some scholars disagree given biblical and historical data.
Whether or not you choose to agree shouldn’t stop you from taking this time to remember one of the two greatest events in human history.
Without Christ’s birth there would be no death – no remission of sins, no divine pardon, no justification….
No promise of eternity with God in heaven.
No hope in this life at all.
But this isn’t the only challenge Christians face at Christmastime.
So often we are distracted with the lights and decorations, Christmas parties and pageants, buying presents, making lists, making cookies, planning a big dinner.
And all of the preparation to celebrate Jesus can make us crazy!
Something like Martha in the Bible.
She was so busy preparing for Jesus, she never enjoyed Jesus. And this is the danger we often face during this season.
We want to create the “perfect Christmas” (whatever that is)
We want to make sure we buy the perfect gifts
Throw the perfect party
Make the perfect cookies
Everything has to be extra-special….but where is our heart? Is it distracted?
We can be Mary and still do all the cooking and decorating, planning and buying of presents, as long as our heart remains at Jesus’ feet.
Learning from Him
Enjoying His presence
Dwelling in His peace
That is why this year I created a 30 Day Prayer Challenge for Christmas.
This Prayer Challenge takes you through the entire Christmas story, sometimes glancing back at Old Testament prophesies to offer some broader perspective.
I truly enjoyed creating this one and I can’t wait to go back during December to revisit these wonderful verses and remind myself how God spoke through those prophets to tell about the coming of His Son….and wonder if they truly understood the significance of their words.
I hope you’ll join me in sitting at Jesus’ feet this month and celebrating Him.
Celebrating the fact that God chose to become man
That God chose to walk among us
That God chose to subject Himself to the limitations and frustrations here on earth
That God chose to live a life of stigma, look so average that no one would even give him a second glance, and then die like a criminal.
In celebrating Him, we learn from His example of rejecting the temptation to enjoy being liked too much and enjoying luxury too much, but rather keeping His eyes fixed on heaven.
Let us choose the better thing this year.
Join me in 30 days of praying through the Christmas story!