We focus on Jesus Christ’s coming to earth — not only His birth, but also His life, His sacrificial death on the Cross, His resurrection life, and His very real presence in our lives today. At Christmastime, we remember how God came to earth to live with us, so that we could live with Him.
We enjoy gift-giving, but we remember Christmas is not about “presents”; it’s about living in the “presence” of the Lord and sharing His presence with others.
Jesus came as our Emmanuel. He is our “God with us.”
Just take a moment, or maybe a half an hour . . . and just think about that phrase: “God with us.”
It’s absolutely amazing. The Almighty, All-powerful, Magnificent, Creator God of the entire universe . . . with us.
If that doesn’t “WOW” us, we really need to stop everything and just let that truth sink in. God is with us and we can be with Him. WOW!!! What a gift. “God with us.”
Remember the Presence of the Lord!
Remember Your Quiet Time:
Encourage your family to take some quiet time this Christmas to pray and to worship (and plan now to bring a special worship and prayer time into your Christmas Eve or Christmas Day celebrations). As a mother, we can “set the atmosphere” in our home. Try getting up a little bit earlier. Light some candles, play some soft Christmas music, get out your Bible, and allow your kids to “catch” you having a special quiet time with the Lord.
In a Christmas Eve sermon, Martin Luther (German leader of the Reformation) encouraged his congregation to be like a manger in which Jesus can be found.
On How to Be a Manger
By Barbara Germait
Be soft inside.
Remember Your World:
Learn how Christmas is celebrated in different parts of the world, such as St. Lucia Day in Scandinavia (the legend of St. Lucia focuses on a girl who gave her dowry to feed the poor) or Las Posadas from Latin America. You can also learn about Hanukkah (as you pray for Jewish families to come to know Jesus as their Messiah). Perhaps incorporate a new international tradition into your family celebration.
Here is a great read-aloud Christmas story from Liberia, Africa
– “I Gave Myself”
Remember Your Loved Ones (who need Jesus):
Remember that Christmas is one of the easiest times of the year to be a strong witness for Jesus. Whenever anyone says, “Happy Holidays,” encourage your children to be bold and friendly as you respond with a cheerful “Merry Christmas!” or “Jesus Loves You!” (and don’t be afraid to invite people to your church or to a special Christ-centered event).
Pray specifically for your unsaved neighbors, and perhaps deliver a plate of Christmas cookies along with hand-written cards or loving notes about God’s salvation. Visit elderly people in a nursing home and sing God-glorifying Christmas carols and talk to these precious people about the Lord. Specifically pray for relatives who need Jesus (and maybe plan a little Christmas Eve “skit” performed by your sweet non-threatening kids, to clearly share the real salvation reason for Christ’s coming to earth).
Here is a great read-aloud Christmas missionary story about a Wycliffe Missionary
– “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”
Remember Your Missionaries:
Communicate a few times during December to your own missionary friends and their children. Today, most overseas missionaries and international ministers utilize online tools such as facebook, twitter, blogs, or websites, so it’s easier than ever to keep in touch. Don’t be afraid to share about your fun Christmas activities, but be sensitive and appreciative for the sacrifices they are making for Jesus to serve Him so far from home.
This Christmas, let’s remember to welcome the presence of the Lord into our homes, into our families, and into all of our celebrations. Let’s be still and soft and ready, like that manger bed so long ago. In the midst of all the details and busyness of this Christmas season, let’s remember to prepare our hearts to receive the greatest gift of all, His Presence.
Let’s keep it simple . . . and full of His JOY!
Let’s remember Jesus.