Christmas is the time of year for Santa, presents, decorated trees, friends and family, time off work, playing in the snow and, oh what was it again . . . Jesus! That’s right, as the name suggests, Christmas is a holiday in the first place because of Christ.
Now, we’re not about to be those people who badger you in your local coffee shop about why you need to say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” Say whatever you want. However, we do want you to experience the love and joy of Christ, and we think this is an excellent time of the year to remember Him as well as enjoying all those other wonderful things above.
Staying close to God during Christmas
The fact is, Christmas can be a busy season for us. Even though many people have time off from work and school, there is traveling, party preparation, gift preparation and other aspects of the holiday that can take up a lot of your time. All these distractions can cause you to miss out on the reason for the season in the first place: Jesus.
We think Christmas should be a great time to grow in your faith, so here are four tips that can help you stay close to God during this holiday season:
- Make time for Scripture — Reading the Word on a regular basis should already be a part of your routine if you are a person who believes in Jesus. But if not, don’t worry; God won’t punish you for missing out on Scripture time. However, reading Scripture does help you learn more about God and grow closer to Him. Take some time during the holiday season to read through the Gospels or other books in the Bible that you may not have spent time with in a while.
- Pray — When planning feels overwhelming or the season is just becoming busy and hectic, take a moment to pause and rest. And pray. Prayer in the Christian faith is unique in that it is not gated in any way whatsoever. You simply have to reach out to God in the name of Jesus to gain access to the ear of the Creator of the universe. You might not hear any answers or see any signs right away, but it helps to take the time to place your concerns at the feet of God.
- Make plans — Amid all your holiday planning, you need to include time for yourself and for God. If you make a schedule of what you need to do during the holidays, add times for rest and for prayer or Scripture time. If you wish to spend time connecting with God in a more communal setting, set aside some time to sing or worship with your friends and family or to attend a Christmas Eve service.
- Serve — “Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless — cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything — encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!”
– 1 Peter 4:7-11 (MSG)
Plenty of people are without food, shelter or even presents during this season. Taking some time to remember your fellow brothers and sisters in need can make a huge difference in their lives and can be spiritually rewarding for you.
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