The minute Fall hits, I begin thinking of Christmas. I don’t do anything as crazy as decorate for Christmas in October, but in all honesty I get excited when it is Fall because it feels like an open door that leads to Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I truly love Fall. I love the change that it brings in the air (although that hasn’t happened yet this year in California). I love all the Fall colors and everything pumpkin spice flavored. I love the later mornings and the earlier evenings. And I love wearing sweaters every single day.
Next comes Thanksgiving, a true Christian holiday set aside to give thanks for all the blessings God lavishes on us. It is a time to celebrate around good food and great people! And say, “Thank you, God.”
But nothing makes my heart skip a beat like the anticipation of Christmas. Sure, there is no denying the amount of work and effort and time that goes into the Christmas holiday. From programs to services to outings, to gifts and the perfect Christmas cookies, to roasted turkey and honeyed ham, Christmas takes work. Part of the magic of Christmas is found in the ability to put in all that effort and work, knowing that the dividends of the outcome far outweigh the time invested. Christmas is everything magical, from the twinkling lights to the pine scent of the Christmas tree, to the glistening snow-capped mountains and the indescribable glow within your heart when you share the gifts you have meticulously selected with those you love the most. Christmas is my favorite of all.
How come, then, could the best day of the year be December 25, and the worst day of the year be December 26? For one reason and one reason only: our focus has been misplaced. When our focus is misplaced, disappointment and disillusionment is bound to happen. I would be lying if I didn’t admit to the thrill of excitement going to bed on December 24th, and the semi empty feeling of going to bed on December 25th.
This week I heard my son-in-law preach a sermon that captured all of these feelings I’ve felt for years in a nutshell. His illustration was perfect. As children, we often went to bed on Christmas Eve, full of anticipation of receiving everything on our wish list. Only to finish unwrapping all our gifts under the tree on Christmas day, and being disappointed that we didn’t receive everything we’d hoped for. This feeling repeated year after year, unless we were able to place our focus on the right priority for Christmas. Jesus Christ came to earth as Immanuel, God with us, to be “with us” each and every day of our lives. When that priority is misplaced, we feel disappointment, discouragement, let down, and even hopeless. When we re-align our priorities with the only priority that brings hope and joy, we are never disappointed. Jesus does not disappoint—ever.
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call his name Immanuel—God with us.” Isaiah 7:14
And in Him we can wake up every morning, with hope and anticipation of what He will do in us and through us that day!
When Jesus is our priority, we are never disappointed!
As we head into this holiday season, let’s align our focus to be on the single priority of Jesus Christ Himself. He never falls short and He never disappoints!
Speak Truth Love