Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Devotions: It's Not Too Late!

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14
We hear it all the time: "Jesus is the reason for the season!" But let's face it, it is tremendously difficult to actually carry through with that philosophy. There are presents to buy, houses to decorate, parties to throw and attend, and we know in our hearts that these are good things too. And they are. Yes, we may do too many things during the holidays, but that is not really the problem. The real problem is our hearts. They are fickle, distracted things, and focusing on Jesus is hard at any time during the year.
I realized last week that my heart was slightly bitter against other people for filling up my holiday with necessary events, so that it was difficult for me to focus on the real reason for Christmas. But this thinking is wrong! There is no reason why I cannot party, decorate, buy presents and wrap presents with Christ in the forefront of my mind and heart.
This is not a "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" issue at all! It is completely supernatural--entirely Holy Spirit powered. But there are some simple things we can obediently do to help our minds and hearts focus on Christ this season. One of those things is to stay in the Word. Do you feel like it's too late to start a Christmas devotional for yourself or your family? It's really not! In fact, why not do one in January to start 2011 out with a Christmas-all-year-long mentality? Here are a few that I have found:
Unto Us A King is Born--this free downloadable devotional covers the Christmas story during the month of December (or any other month!) with daily Bible readings and points of reflection.
Nativity Advent Calendar--One of my friends has this calendar, and it is fun, meaningful and beautiful! Each day, you or your children can open a tiny door to find a magnet to attach to the nativity scene.
The Advent Wreath--This is a count down that would be easy to start and finish this week. Light some candles in a circle and talk about the coming of Jesus--simple and effective! Even adults sometimes need to touch and see something (like a candle) for words to sink in. The link takes you to some suggested Advent readings, but if you don't like those, there are many more from which to choose! This advent devotional is especially great for children.
As I've mentioned before, the Jesse Tree is a great tool for teaching children (and ourselves) that the entire Bible is about Jesus and that Christmas is a story for the entire year. We have been following this as much as we can throughout this month, and we have a branch full of ornaments to remind us of His story.
(If you're interested, hot glue will hold almost anything to almost any wall, and it peels right off when you are done.Test on a small area first, of course.)
And last, but not least, I still love the What God Wants for Christmas presents and nativity. We let our youngest open all of these presents over the last week, so that they have a nativity scene on the table that they can play with. The figures change positions at least 10 times a day!
Linked with Homemaker's MondayMotivate Me MondayMiscellany MondayMakes My MondayHome for the Holidays  and Tools are for Women,

3 comments:

  1. Love this post! thanks for sharing.

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  2. Love your Jesse Tree! :) It looks so pretty!

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  3. Great post! And that tree is awesome!

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