Posted By Nan

Isaiah 44: 23

"Sing for Joy because God has displayed His glory. He has fulfilled his promise."

Wonderful words. They apply well to Christmas. 

We prepare for Christmas. We put up decorations, we read advent readings, we plan for the celebration of Jesus birth.

Then it is Christmas Day and we somehow manage to get a little lost. The whole day is not a focus on Jesus. Instead it is a celebration of family and being together and relaxing and not feeling guilty about not doing things. 

I had a Christmas Day like that yesterday. 

I woke up Boxing Day feeling I had failed God. 

I had not spent all my time celebrating Jesus birth.

It was a strange Christmas. Not all the family could come as one was self isolating. So it was quieter.

I wondered if that is why I didn’t feel I had spent enough time honouring Jesus birth.

So I prayed.

As I prayed I realised my first thought on rising had been about this being the day we celebrate the long awaited promise of God to send His son as our saviour.

As I prayed I realised I had honoured Jesus in every meal, every gift, the grace said before each meal.

I realised the whole relaxing, joyous day had been about Jesus.

I have battled for years against the cultural expectations churches set for us to be “Christians”. Yesterday I fell under the spell of cultural expectations instead of truly worshipping as God intended.

What do we do on a birthday of someone we love? We are happy. We give them gifts. We celebrate.

And we do that, not just on the day of their birthday, but on every day that we prepare for that birthday. 

At Christmas there is the preparation. The planning of the feast to honour the Saviour’s birth. The planning of the presents to celebrate the Saviour’s birth. The setting aside of that day to do nothing. The knowing of this being a special day.

God set the template in the Bible passages that relate Jesus’ birth. The angels joyous singing. The shepherds curious and awe filled visit. The eventual arrival of the three Magi.

Christmas is about celebrating and knowing that celebration is about Jesus’ birth and God’s promise fulfilled.

It is not about feeling pressure to be perfect. To be the perfect Christian. It is about honouring the birth of one who was perfect. About His life on earth that allows me to be called Christian.

It is about honouring Jesus every day of the year, not just the days representing his birth and death.

That is the way of following Jesus.


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