As Christmas approaches, I find myself filled with excitement as I think about ideas regarding how to make the season magical for my children. What presents should I buy? How should I decorate the house? What traditions do I want to start for my children? I find myself quickly slipping into the more worldly aspects of Christmas instead of focusing on the real reason for the season. Thoughts of gifts, lights, and decorations fill my mind when thoughts of Jesus should be taking their place. So, I decided to write a different kind of Christmas list for myself this year. One that will help my focus remain on Jesus, God’s perfect Son, who came to this earth to bring hope for us. I hope this list helps me and possibly you too as we wade through Christmas this year.
A daily focus on Jesus can be implemented in many different ways. It could start by waking up and letting my thoughts begin with Christ in prayer. It could merge into breaking out in song as I cook breakfast. As the Psalmist wrote:
Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.”Psalm 105:2
I could throw in a few dance moves just for good measure to help get the kids excited as well. I’m a pretty lousy dancer, so I will not reveal my crazy dance moves if company happens to stop by. I can try to steal some time to read my Bible to learn more about Jesus, my Friend and Savior. This is a loose script for the day because the day doesn’t always go how I plan. But, I have to plan to be intentional, or else I may sway back toward the direction that the world beckons me. Also, I don’t want to leave out pausing and asking God the Father to help me focus on Him. I need His help to accomplish any of this!
My heart desires peace, and that peace only comes when first I’ve believed in Jesus for the gift that He offers, everlasting life, and secondly when I’m following Christ (being His disciple). Paul reminds of this truth in Romans:
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
When Jesus taught the disciples how to pray, He included “Your kingdom come. Your will be done” in Matthew 6:10. So, I know that this kingdom focus needs to be an everyday thing. Instead of getting caught up in myself and my world, I need to be thinking about Jesus’ coming kingdom and how my thoughts and actions can align with that today.
I want to be teaching my children the reason for Christmas this season. Deuteronomy 6:5-9 speaks of this:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”Deuteronomy 6:5-9
How do I go about doing this? Instead of asking my kids over and over about what they want for Christmas and building up anticipation about toys they would receive, I should be teaching them about the everlasting hope and joy we have in Jesus and how that looks. I talk with them about Jesus as we eat breakfast and throughout the day as we spend time together.
I wish to enjoy Jesus and learn about His attributes so that I can celebrate His birth. This can be so much fun. One idea is to read a verse each day that describes an attribute of Jesus to my children. Another idea is to complete a creative project together like baking a cake for Jesus, praying and thanking Him as we mix the ingredients. Then, we can add candles and sing Him Happy Birthday. Jesus wants us to enjoy spending time with Him. Sometimes this is just a shift in thinking. I can go through the motions of the day focusing on Him and celebrating Him instead of focusing on myself.
These are just a few ideas that I jotted down to help me keep my focus in the right place this Christmas. Click below to download a different kind of Christmas Wish List. I’m sure there are many more wonderful ideas to add to it. I’d love to hear them!
What do you do to keep your focus on Christ? What would you add to this Christmas list?