Originally published 12/6/2018. Updated 12/5/2020.
This post is for any Christian like me, who sometimes struggles to not only get into the Christmas spirit but to fight through the cultural holiday distractions to focus on the meaning of Christmas. This is a prayer I will pray often as the big day draws near.
How quickly the Christmas season comes upon us. We get up from the Thanksgiving table, where we rightly pause to share our gratitude for your good gifts (James 1:17), only to be bombarded with all manner of Christmas music, most of which has nothing to do with your Son and a constant barrage of commercial reminders about getting that perfect gift for everyone on our lists.
It’s distracting. I confess it causes my mind and heart to focus more on the trappings of Western Christmas traditions than on the miracle that we celebrate that day. I want my Christmas spirit to be rightly focused on You, and the glorious incarnation of Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who came down and humbled Himself in human flesh to fulfill the prophecies set in motion in the Garden of Eden. To activate Your perfect, incorruptible, unstoppable plan to make a way for humanity to be redeemed.
Christmas is a wonderful time of year. The most wonderful, according to not only a song, but reality as we consider its unmatched significance. So while I conform to the cultural traditions of Christmas, allow me to keep my heart stayed on Christ.
In a year like 2020, where everything is upside down and chaotic, and the way we celebrate the season may be completely different due to COVID-19, let me remember that your sovereign plan is unfolding, even though I can’t see the big picture.
As I decorate and enjoy the tree, let its beauty remind me of His far superior beauty.
As I shop for gifts, may I meditate on the perfect gift of Christ’s example, life, teachings, death, and resurrection.
As I spend time with friends and family, grant that I would appreciate them, love them as myself, and be thankful for them, as a gift from You.
As I consider the financial sacrifice of year-end giving to the church and other worthy organizations, remind me that Christ sacrificed Himself, for our salvation.
Finally, as I dwell on my undeserved adoption into Your family, let it move my heart to compassion and action, to share the Good News of Christ to those who do not know, who go through the motions of Christmas detached from its true meaning.
These things I pray, in the name of Christ Jesus, Whom we celebrate. Amen.