Every year, when the holidays roll around, I struggle with the same set of questions: How do I celebrate Christmas without being totally wrapped up in the materialism and commercialism around me? How do I find time to worship in the race to decorate, shop, wrap, bake, and put on programs. How can I justify all the spending on frivolous things when so many people are suffering and in need of basic necessities? Is there a way for me to simplify and make Jesus the center of my activities? Can I give Him a Christmas gift on His birthday? These are the questions I've wrangled with each year as I try to find a balance in it all.
I've thought a lot about John 3:16 "For God so loved the world He gave...."
- ...gave up the splendor of Heaven to be born in a stable, and walk in a broken world, came to serve not be served
- ...gave sight to the blind, healing to the sick, life to the dead, food to the hungry, and forgiveness to the sinner
- ...gave His life and took the punishment for my sin
I've come to believe that we're most like Jesus when we're giving. Not just giving to people who already have too much, but giving where there truly is a need.
- maybe it's refugees, orphans, or those suffering for their faith
- maybe it's a friend who's struggling to make ends meet, or a family who just lost a loved one
- maybe it's the forgotten ones in the nursing home or an elderly neighbor who's lonely
- maybe it's time invested in someone, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or just someone to care
Jesus told us in Matthew 25:40 "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." So, when we give to the hurting and needy, we are giving to Him. That's how we give Him a gift for His birthday. I don't pretend to have it all figured out, but one thing I don't want to do is get so caught up in the festivities and traditions that I leave Him out. I want to live like I believe that "He's the reason for the season."
Supplies and Tools:
- O Christmas Tree Stamp Set (Stamp Simply Ribbon Store)
- O Christmas Tree Matching Die Set (Stamp Simply Ribbon Store)
- Wonder of Christmas Stamp Set
- Crochet Dies (Sizzix - Tim Holtz)
- 100 Days of Grace and Gratitude Devotional Journal
- Project Life Cards (Becky Higgins)
- Ornate Ovals (Divinity Designs)
- Washi Tape
- Graphite Black Brilliance Ink (Tsukineko)
- Peacock Feathers Distress Oxide (Ranger)
Wonderful post, Esther. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful art in our challenges. Thanks for the words of wisdom as well.
Word Art Wednesday
We have really paired down over the years, stopped exchanging gifts with family, and have taken that money and give to many of the programs to help poor, orphans and spread of God's word around the world through missions instead and it feels more like we are doing what God would want us to do on his birthday, it just feels more right. We don't have grandkids and only one daughter and son in law so it makes it easier for us.
I've been having a little visual catch up on your blog, and this post warranted a comment. What a wonderful heart you have and I thank you for sharing your post with us. Merry Christmas!
Thanks for sharing this.
Post a Comment