“Keeping Christ in Christmas”

Sleigh bells ring, candy canes are all around, and visions of sugar plums-or in my case, my favorite Christmas cookies I want to bake, fill my head at this time of the year! Yet we’re also reminded at this time of year, this Advent season, to keep our eyes on the real reason for this season-Christ.

I was listening to the radio while working on a project when I heard this song by the group Kutless. It’s called “This Is Christmas” and the lyrics stayed in my head-

“…Beyond the bows and mistletoe
The tree with presents wrapped below
There’s more to this than you had ever thought.
Have we lost the reason that we celebrate each year?
What is Christmas?
If there never was a savior wrapped in a manger.
What is Christmas without Christ?”

It may be the place I am at in my life, my age, or even the slower pace of life I’ve chosen; but those lyrics spoke to my heart and soul. What if there never was a savior? Where would I be? My Lord- my rock would not have seen me through the tough times I’ve had on my journey. I wouldn’t have His grace, forgiveness, or love…I wouldn’t have hope.

I still can’t fathom how people navigate life’s ups and downs without God. Unexpected deaths, job losses, divorce, health problems and other challenges are so overwhelming on our own. It’s still not easy with God, but with Him there is hope! He gives us the strength we need each day and he promises to walk with us!

I know it’s easy to get caught up in all the holiday hustle and bustle, but when I do pause- slow down, wait, pray, and…listen..it’s easy to see Christ everywhere! To hear Him all around! Philippians 4:6-7 says His peace is there for the taking.

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

And God’s word also promises in Lamentations 3:22-24 that each morning we’ll be refreshed, given new mercies. He is always faithful….day in and day out!

22 “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fall not.
They are new every morning,
Great is Your faithfulness.
The Lord is my portion, says my soul,
Therefore I hope in Him!”

At this time of the year Christ is alive and King over our land – Nativity scenes still grace the lawns across our towns. As each year passes and I get a little older, I appreciate that Jesus is the reason for the season more and more. I’m choosing to seek Him and keep Him part of my Christmas! When we experience the ups and downs on our life’s journey, we look for Christ more. We seek His face to comfort us, to guide us, to reassure us. If we choose to seek Him, we’ll see Him in the faces of little ones, laughing and singing, in a newborn baby’s face, in the love of a grandparent, in a sunrise or sunset, or in the lyrics of a song or during worship. Maybe you’ll see Him while on a walk outside with His creation all around, or in a starry sky.
Stars are all around us. Have you looked at them? When have you paused and looked up (ok, those of us in the city may need to take a drive to the country for a better view- or at least to our church parking lot!) to see them? They are there! God placed them there. He created them to shine at night. And that one star led the way to Christ when he was born that Christmas day so long ago…for the shepherds, for the wisemen, …for us! Our saviour! And for that I am thankful!

I encourage you to slow down and take in all that Christ has to offer you this Christmas. As our choir and orchestra shared in Totally Christmas, and the children sang in His Voice…It feels like Christmas and it is a happy day when Christ is part of your Christmas, part of every day!

Have a blessed Christmas-one which Christ is a part of!

~Nancy Lipscomb