It is that time of year that we start turning our thoughts to Christmas.

I love Christmas – I love the opportunity to be focused on Jesus in an overt way and I love the family memories that this time of year creates.   There is no mistaking though the commercialism of this celebration.  It won’t be long and decorations will be up around town, there are already fruit mince pies on the shelf, and there are guides out there to help you get ready for Christmas.  If I’m not careful I’m suddenly caught up in red and white, in glitter, in special foods – and though there is nothing wrong with those things I want the heart issues to be addressed first.  This means I need to start thinking heart issues now – before the crazy takes over.

One of the passages that has been a mainstay for my Christmas preparation has been the words of Jesus to his disciples:

Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled
and do not be afraid.
John 14:27

Regardless of your beliefs in celebrating Christmas it is still a time in our society where people are aware of Jesus. The challenge for us as Christians is to show the world a Jesus that is more than a cute baby, unfortunate enough to be born in a stable.

Are you showing Jesus to the world?

I’ve been challenged with this question. Are the things that we do in our family a testimony to who Jesus is? When people walk in our home what do they see? Do they see Jesus? This of course is a challenge that needs to be considered every day, every week, every month of the year, not just at Christmas time. But it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of it now amongst the craziness of Santa, Parties, and a good time.

What is Jesus about? The good news the angels brought was that a saviour was born – He offers salvation from our sin and an end to the separation from God.

For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him
shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

I came that they may have life,
and have it abundantly.
John 10:10

Showing Jesus in our home is more than putting up “Jesus” focus decorations such as a Nativity Scene or a Jesse Tree (though we personally enjoy these). Jesus came to change lives and it is our lives that should be the decorations at this season.

–Do we worship – the angels filled the sky with their praises to God – they were in awe of this good news. They knew what this meant and they worshipped God

–Do we celebrate – as the shepherds did. After they saw for themselves, they told every one they came across what they had been told, and what they had seen. They must have been so excited. Has the good news become jaded to our ears – we need to stir ourselves, and see afresh the amazing, wonderful news that it is – and spread it to all we talk to.

–Do we give thanks – like Simeon and Anna – knowing that God is true to His word and sent a saviour into the world, to give eternal life to all who believe.

–Do we give gifts – like the wise men. Not the gifts we may give to each other – but the gift of our life to Jesus. The only thing that Jesus wants is our life, our love, our worship. Do we offer it to him freely?

A life decorated in such a way is sure to be noticed as we walk through the streets of our town and go about our daily business. A life decorated in such a way is going to impact the lives of the people around us. This is a time to celebrate the life of Jesus in us and if we keep our eyes open, and our hearts available, we may have an opportunity to share that joy, that peace, that love with the people we meet – if only we don’t cover it up with the cultural celebrations going on around us.

Get ready for Christmas – starting with the heart

Join my short free e-course (where each unit gets delivered to your email inbox) to start thinking of ways to make Christmas intentional, relational and heart focused.  6 Ways to Create a Heart Focused Christmas – is a combination of a short read and an action step to help you shape your Christmas to meet your family needs and values.  Join me (yes, I go through this process every year, but even more so at the moment because with almost all my kids adults, we have a different family dynamic and I still want to make a heart focused Christmas) over 6 days to think about what you want for Christmas.  6 Ways to Create a Heart Focused Christmas:  Free e-course

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 Every week I'll email an encouragement to stay intentional and relational in all your family life.  But for now, download your set of reminder posters - posters which I've used over the years to remind me to keep my eyes and heart on what is important.

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